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Beware of the leaven of the Phar?isees and of the Sadducees

Tues­day. [I Cor. 10:5–12; Matt. 16:6–12] Beware of the leav­en of the Phar?isees and of the Sad­ducees, said the Lord. The Sad­ducees are a mod­el of care­less­ness; the Phar­isees repre?sent peo­ple who are out­ward­ly zeal?ous. The for­mer do noth­ing, where?as the lat­ter, although they look very busy, noth­ing real­ly comes of them. Sim­i­lar to these are mem­bers of our mod­ern soci­ety who are en?ticed by the ideas of human­ism. You hear them talk only about the good of the peo­ple, but no good ever comes to the peo­ple, for it is all talk and no action. Their human­ism is feigned; they make only the appear?ance of humane­ness, but in real­i­ty they are ego­ists. Speech does not re?quire sac­ri­fice — they speak lavish?ly; but when the mat­ter touch­es sac?rifices, they retreat. Nowa­days al?most every­one is an actor; some show off in front of oth­ers as being zeal­ous for good, and par­tic­u­lar­ly for enlight­en­ment, and they are all quite sat­is­fied when their own ver?bal tes­ti­mo­ny por­trays them as be?ing real­ly this way. There­fore, as soon as some char­i­ta­ble undertak?ing comes up among us, talk is ev?erywhere, but deeds do not come to fruition. Do not expect sac­ri­fices from them; they have no need to help oth­ers, as long as their affairs are going well. But it also hap­pens that, with­out any par­tic­u­lar men­tal effort over real plans to help their neigh­bors, they give alms in order to be left alone. The Lord has con?demned both cat­e­gories, and has com­mand­ed us to be filled with sin?cere love for one anoth­er, which does not love to show off.

Saint Theo­phan the Recluse