February 17, 2015
Jesus said to His disciples, “Watch out, guard against the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” Mk 8:14-21
Sometimes we use figures of speech to make a point because it might be easier to understand that way. Leaven was a common term used in the time of Jesus. It is a substance used in making bread, to puff it up (yeast, for example, is a leavening agent). And Jesus used the term to suggest how the Pharisees and Herod were all puffed up in their own pride, in their own greed. The disciples were seriously worried about not having enough food to eat (for themselves). When, there they were sitting in a boat with the very Creator of it all. And Jesus had just shown them that He had the power to multiply a few loaves to feed thousands. They just didn’t get it.
That greed, that selfishness of the Pharisees and Herod, that leaven, can also symbolize our sin. Once it starts, it keeps puffing up and getting worse and worse, sometimes to the point of being out of control. Jesus said Beware!
Ever wonder, beloved, why we have those penitential seasons like Lent and Advent. This is exactly why. Every once in a while we have to step back and deflate that bubble that may have grown within us. And when we can clean the inside, what we’ll find – is that the outside can work a whole lot better.
All to the Glory of God and the betterment of mankind!
(And then, on the side – put that in the perspective of a concept we call “Fat Tuesday.” The epitome of greed, selfishness, and maybe even gluttony! Sorry New Orleans – Happy Mardi Gras!)
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