First reading James 1:12-18

Temptation is not from God

Happy the man who stands firm when trials come. He has proved himself, and will win the prize of life, the crown that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
  Never, when you have been tempted, say, ‘God sent the temptation’; God cannot be tempted to do anything wrong, and he does not tempt anybody. Everyone who is tempted is attracted and seduced by his own wrong desire. Then the desire conceives and gives birth to sin, and when sin is fully grown, it too has a child, and the child is death.
  Make no mistake about this, my dear brothers: it is all that is good, everything that is perfect, which is given us from above; it comes down from the Father of all light; with him there is no such thing as alteration, no shadow of a change. By his own choice he made us his children by the message of the truth so that we should be a sort of first-fruits of all that he had created.

Responsorial Psalm 93(94):12-15,18-19

Happy the man whom you teach, O Lord.
Happy the man whom you teach, O Lord,
  whom you train by means of your law;
to him you give peace in evil days
  while the pit is being dug for the wicked.
Happy the man whom you teach, O Lord.
The Lord will not abandon his people
  nor forsake those who are his own;
for judgement shall again be just
  and all true hearts shall uphold it.
Happy the man whom you teach, O Lord.
When I think: ‘I have lost my foothold’;
  your mercy, Lord, holds me up.
When cares increase in my heart
  your consolation calms my soul.
Happy the man whom you teach, O Lord.

Gospel Mark 8:14-21

Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod

The disciples had forgotten to take any food and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. Then he gave them this warning, ‘Keep your eyes open; be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod.’ And they said to one another, ‘It is because we have no bread.’ And Jesus knew it, and he said to them, ‘Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you not yet understand? Have you no perception? Are your minds closed? Have you eyes that do not see, ears that do not hear? Or do you not remember? When I broke the five loaves among the five thousand, how many baskets full of scraps did you collect?’ They answered, ‘Twelve.’ ‘And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many baskets full of scraps did you collect?’ And they answered, ‘Seven.’ Then he said to them, ‘Are you still without perception?’

Moving our gaze from our “one loaf” to Jesus

In today’s gospel, the disciples started to worry about not having enough bread for their journey. They were distracted at what they lacked to  the point that they forgot to look at WHO they had with them in the boat. We can identify ourselves with these disciples. In life, we often look  at our “one loaf” to the extent that we become excessively worried and anxious. The “one loaf” moments are when we find that we do not  have enough resources to deal with a problem, do not know the next step to take, do not have enough patience with a difficult person, etc.  Jesus, ever so patient, reminds us to turn our gaze from that “one loaf” back to Him. He, who multiplied loaves to feed thousands of people,  will continue to help us in our needs. He knows what we truly need and will give us what is good for us. May we never lose sight of Jesus,  who is always in our boats, in our lives.
Question for reflection:
Do I fully trust Jesus to give me what I truly need?
Acknowledgment: Reflections are based on “Prayer for Living: The Word of God for Daily Prayer Year C” by Sr Sandra Seow FMVD.