Monday, July 27, 2020

Monday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

I think I finally got it down, how the yeast is prepared can make or break the riding of the dough. Jesus teaches using parables, stories that subvert how we think about God, and in today’s liturgy, he speaks of the yeast. The Kingdom of God is “like,” there you go, a simile or comparison is about to take place. This “Kingdom” that Jesus speaks about, preaches about, and the reason he ended up on the “like yeast a woman took and measured with flour until the whole batch was leavened.”

Yeast has to be prepared properly, with warm water and sugar, but the temperature must be just right if the yeast is going to bubble up. I’ve been trying throughout this pandemic of using yeast to make the dough rise, attempting to bake bread, largely unsuccessful. Until last night. I made Italian easter bread, and by appearances and taste, it worked!!!!

Yeast is hidden. Yeast needs water just at the right temperature and sugars to “act up” and start bunking and fomenting. I’m not even certain I’m using the correct terminology, but I know things have to be just right for the dough to be rise.

The Kingdom, and God, are largely hidden beneath the surface of everyday life, waiting to “bubble up and out”, allowing humanity, like dough with hidden yeast, to “rise” and become leavened. What a beautiful image that each individual human being is a part of a huge batch of human dough: humanity is like a freshly baked loaf of bread!!! But bread that doesn’t “rise” is useless and difficult to eat, trust me.

The yeast, properly prepared, needs to interact with the flour. We need to be prepared through prayer and Eucharist, through service and justice, to interact with humanity. Christ is the yeast, and we become united with this yeast through his spirit, causing us to rise and become “bread for humanity “ to feed the deepest hungers.

The Kingdom is indeed hidden and we are to make it visible.

Fr. Frank