In the Gospel, Jesus tells his disciples to be “on guard against the yeast of the Pharisees.” Jesus was referring to their hypocrisy. The Pharisees pretend to be God-fearing but all their words and actions are just for show – to make people think they are pious so they will be shown respect. But deep down, they are selfish, manipulating, pretentious, and even violent. Jesus tells his disciples not to fear them even though they could “kill the body.” They cannot kill the soul or destroy the Holy Spirit that God has put in the hearts of His disciples.
In the first reading, St. Paul says that Christians are those who hope in the Lord, who wait for his glorious coming. As they have been stamped with the seal of the Holy Spirit, they feel a freedom that others do not have: that of being sons of God, of having experienced God as a Father, which gives them great joy and peace. It also emboldens them to preach the Good News of salvation to others. We are called to experience the joy and freedom of God’s children. We are also called to preach the Gospel of Jesus to all men. To preach how Jesus died for our sins and was raised by the Father for our justification is our joy and privilege.