6/21/2023 (Wednesday) Today’s gospel reading: Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18
Jesus said to his disciples:
1 “Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.
2 When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
3 But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing,
4 so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.
5 “When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
6 But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.
16 “When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites. They neglect their appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,
18 so that you may not appear to others to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.”
6/21/2023 (Wednesday) Today’s gospel reflection: Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18
All of our actions most especially our prayers, alms-giving, and fasting should be pleasing to God. In other words, we must act with authenticity and humility in order to glorify God and and make others do the same. In fact, Jesus himself exhort us to let our light shine before others so that when they see us, they will glorify God (Matthew 5:16).
Yet the gospel passage above is telling us to do our alms-giving, prayers, and fasting in secret. This does not mean Jesus is contradicting Himself. What He is cautioning us about is hypocrisy or doing things for show. If our intentions are pure, there should be no problem and God will surely be pleased with us. So let us go about doing good with no other purpose but to glorify God.