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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