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Doctrines & Morals

Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees

James 1:12-18, Mk 8:14-21. St James muses about our power to endure the hardships of the present time and he looks to a bright future when we will be like the first fruits of God’s new creation. Like Jesus, James in today's first reading urges us to value the spiritual side of life. The Word within our heart, produces good fruit in our lives. If at times, we are full of doubts and questions, he wants us to keep wondering, seeking and most of all just being in presence of God. In the presence of God is abundance of good things, if we open up and remain vigilant. In today's Gospel, Jesus warns us to be careful of the "yeast of the Pharisees" and the "yeast of Herod".

The "yeast of the Pharisees" speaks of the pride and ambition, ego and desire in the hearts and minds of the Pharisees to maintain their position and privileges at all costs, even in opposing Jesus. They would rather resist Him and oppose Him and His works, than lose their authority, power, control and influence among the people. Herod was the king of Galilee at that time and was infamous for his adulterous relationship with Herodias, his own brother’s wife, whom he married when she was still legally married to Herod’s brother, Philip, who was still alive. Herod was overcome by his desire and greed, which resulted in his adultery. This is how pride and ego, ambition and desire can be so dangerous. They can lead us to temptations and being tempted to maintain our ego and pride, we will end up taking actions that are not just contrary to our faith, but are even scandalous and directly opposite of what God has taught us to do.

May the Lord deepen His love in our heart, so that in all things we may fill the presence of God! Amen!! Good morning and have a pleasant day!!!

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