In the First Reading, the wickedness of people on earth was great … and that every inclination of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually. Their desire was only towards evil. Because of this, God blotted out human beings with the animals and creeping things and birds of the air. The sin of human beings caused the destruction of all living things. This shows the effects of sin, that it does not only affect the person, but it affects the others and his own environment.
But God saved Noah and his family because Noah found favor in the sight of the Lord. This story of Noah and the Flood shows there is consequence for sin and for obedience. Those who continue to sin, who continue to reject the Truth, will suffer the consequence, while those who obey the Lord will be saved.
Jesus warned his disciples in the Gospel today Watch out – beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod. He said this after the Pharisees asked him for a sign, despite the signs he has performed. The disciples misunderstood him, thinking Jesus was referring to them, not bringing bread with them. Jesus was aware of this and asked them several questions, which shows how critical it is for them to understand what Jesus wanted to say.
- Why are you talking about having no bread?
- Do you still not perceive or understand?
- Are your hearts hardened?
- Do you have eyes and fail to see?
- Do you have ears and fail to hear?
- And do you not remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you collect?
- And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you collect?
- Do you not understand?
Jesus speaks of perceiving and understanding and the hardening of hearts. When the heart is hardened, we cannot see nor hear, nor understand. And even if the signs are in front of us, we will not understand it nor connect it with what Jesus is saying.
Jesus was not referring to bread, but he was referring to the yeast of the Pharisees and of Herod. The yeast of the Pharisees and of Herod is one that hardens the heart from seeing and hearing the Truth. The hardening of heart is what causes people to hold on to their opinions and reject the Truth. Jesus shows how we can guard against this: by remembering what he has done. The sinfulness of humanity in the First Reading was caused by the hardness of hearts of people. What caused the hardness of their hearts? God said I will blot out from the earth the human beings I have created. Man has forgotten he is a creature of God, therefore, man did what he wanted, that everything in his heart was towards evil. The hardness of heart caused man’s heart towards evil. This is what Jesus warned the disciples, this was the sin of the Pharisees and of Herod. They forgot that they need to submit to God. Their idea that they are right and can do whatever they want has caused them to harden their hearts.
Lord, let me see and understand your Word. Let me not harden my heart. Let me remember, I am you creation, you are my God. Help me Lord to submit to you so I can see and hear you are you are and obey your will.