Now the disciples had forgotten to bring any bread; and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. And he cautioned them, saying, “Watch out—beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod.” They said to one another, “It is because we have no bread.” And becoming aware of it, Jesus said to them, “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?” They said to him, “Twelve.” “And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you collect?” And they said to him, “Seven.” Then he said to them, “Do you not yet understand?”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
The teacher in me jumps to imagine this in a classroom setting. Jesus is desperate to make sure his students get what he has been trying to teach them of God’s Love: “and how many baskets did we have left? Come on you know this…” “Twellllllve.”
As in the Gospel times, we live in a complex world where it’s hard to differentiate between God’s call and the corrupting leaven of Herod or the Pharisees. Valentine’s Day, like other holidays, can get a bad reputation because there’s a lot of consumerism that encroaches on its special meaning so that it’s hard to authentically celebrate it as a day of sharing love. At times like this, it’s important that we, rather than frustrate ourselves or engage in specious reasoning (as the disciples did), keep it simple and get back to basics: that God is Love.
A Question: How can I simply express God’s Love to someone today?
—Chia-Yang Kao, S.J., a Jesuit scholastic of the Maryland province, is currently studying philosophy at Loyola University Chicago.
Love consists in sharing what one has and what one is
with those one loves.
Love ought to show itself in deeds
more than words.
—St. Ignatius Loyola