UNDER THE INFLUENCE

“Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod.” –Mark 8:15

Mass Readings: February 14
First: Deuteronomy 26:4-10; Resp: Psalm 91:1-2,10-15;Second: Romans 10:8-13;Gospel: Luke 4:1-13

I worked in a bakery long ago. The baker would break up a solid block of yeast into small crumbs. Next he painstakingly kneaded the crumbs of yeast all throughout the batch of dough. Then he set aside the dough on the baking table for a while “until the whole mass of dough began to rise” (Lk 13:21). It was amazing to watch such small crumbs of yeast cause the dough to rise so much. “A little yeast can affect the entire dough” (Gal 5:9).

Jesus told us to be on guard about what we allow to influence our lives (Mk 8:15). The secular culture constantly sprinkles its crumbs of yeast into our lives, such as:

  • “If you’re cool, you’ll watch this movie.” The sprinkling of immorality from the ungodly movie leads from shock to neutrality to a life of sin.
  • “Stop going to Mass now that you’re in college. Otherwise, no one will go out with you.” That crumb of yeast leads to a lack of faith, sexual sin, and unfaithfulness.
  • “Don’t pray with your children. That’s too boring for them. Let them decide for themselves about God when they grow up.” This yeast leads to broken families and lost vocations.

Jesus says: “Be on your guard” (Mk 8:15). “Do you not know that a little yeast has its effect all through the dough? Get rid of the old yeast to make of yourselves fresh dough” (1 Cor 5:6-7). Let the unleavened bread of the Holy Eucharist be your bread. Receive the Eucharist frequently, even daily if possible. Toss out the yeast of the world. Let the Eucharist raise you up.

PRAYER: Father, open my eyes so I may see how the world is trying to lead me away from You.

PROMISE: “The Lord is enthroned as King forever.” –Ps 29:10

PRAISE: Saints Cyril and Methodius were brothers who worked the mission field together.

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