Genesis 6:5-8; 7:1-5, 10
Our readings today put up a yellow caution light. In the pre-history account from the book of Genesis the human family is depicted as a failed project. God regrets the crowning of his creation that occurred on the sixth day: Adam and Eve. Judgment is given: "I will wipe out from the earth the men whom I have created." However, God gives the human family a second chance with Noah, the only just man on the earth.
We are a part of the second chance. How difficult it is for us to live up to our calling to give glory and praise to God, to shout with every fiber of our being "Glory" (Ps. 29).
The gospel is another yellow caution light. Already earlier in the gospel Mark made it very evident that Jesus’ own people did not accept him and that their spiritual leaders, the Pharisees, were plotting to kill him. Now it is the disciples turn not to understand him. "Are your hearts hardened?" he asks in frustration. "Do you still not understand?"
These readings are a challenge to admit our own weaknesses in giving God his due. Often our hearts are hardened and closed, rather than receptive and open. In a thousand little ways we hold back and betray the gifts of grace that God extends to us. In my freshman year at Loyola Academy in Chicago
I was introduced to the motto of the Jesuits: "ad majoram Dei gloriam." I have tried to make it the motive and direction of my life.
Fr. Michael Hoolahan, C.P. is on the staff of Mater Dolorosa Passionist Retreat Center, Sierra Madre, California.