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One has to be cautious about anything negative!

Background Music: Panalangin by Mark Anthony Cuevas
    Voiced by: Jona Valdez

Reflection Date: February 13, 2024 Tuesday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time
Memorial of St. Catherine of Ricci
Daily Readings: James 1:12–18, Mark 8:14–21

St. James continues to add a few more pearls in the first reading of today. He takes it for granted that temptation is bound to come. The source of temptation is one’s desire. It leads to a continuous cycle of sin, ultimately resulting in death. What is the antidote? It is a generous act of giving. The best gift comes from above, from the Father of Lights. It is God who gives us birth through the word of truth. Humans are destined to become the first fruits of God’s creatures. Blessed is the person who is steadfast in his or her faith in God.

The disciples of Jesus misunderstood him and his teachings very often. It is only occasionally that they ask him to explain the meaning of the parables. In today’s Gospel text, when Jesus warns them about the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod, their minds lead them to think about their hunger for food and their absence of mind in not bringing along enough bread. Yeast is something that helps in baking bread and producing alcohol. It is a type of fungus. Its use in small amounts influences and permeates a larger amount of food and drink.

When Jesus spoke about the yeast of the Pharisees and Herod, he meant the bad influences of these two groups on the people of Israel. These people abused their power and authority by making laws that were overbearing and ungodly, which could negatively permeate the spiritual health of the people of God. One understands Herod and the Herodians, the political leaders who are capable of anything and everything.

The actions of the Pharisees, who were authorities on the law and spiritual and religious leaders, are perplexing to us. They claimed that they were people set apart for God. They also observed all the Mosaic laws meticulously. But their teaching misled the people. In this context, it is worth recalling the Gospel acclamation of the day: “Whoever loves me will keep my word, says the Lord; and my Father will love him, and we will come to him” (John 14:23).

Holy Mother Church honors the memory of St. Catherine of Ricci, a Dominican Tertiary nun from Italy. She had the gifts of Stigmata, visions, and corporeal encounters with Jesus Christ. She used to enact the passion of Christ whenever she was in ecstasy.

Call to Action for Catholic Living: Every Christian influences the other through his or her words and deeds. Alas to the one who becomes a stumbling block to the other! I should never be a cause of negativity in my vicinity!


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.