Gospel: Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18
Be careful not to make a show of your good deeds before people. If you do so, you do not gain anything from your Father in heaven. When you give something to the poor, do not have it trumpeted before you, as do those who want to be noticed in the synagogues and in the streets, in order to be praised by people. I assure you, they have their reward.If you give something to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your gift remains really secret. Your Father, who sees what is kept secret, will reward you.When you pray, do not be like those who want to be noticed. They love to stand and pray in the synagogues or on street corners, in order to be seen by everyone. I assure you, they have their reward. When you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father who is with you in secret; and your Father who sees what is kept secret will re ward you.When you fast, do not put on a miserable face, as do the hypocrites. They put on a gloomy face, so that people can see they are fasting. I tell you this: they have been paid in full already. When you fast, wash your face and make yourself look cheerful, because you are not fasting for appearances or for people, but for your Father, who sees beyond appearances. And your Father, who sees what is kept secret, will reward you.
“Be careful not to make a show of your good deeds before people.”Jesus wants his disciples to purify their motives when they do good things. Doing them without proper motivation is not meritorious.Nowadays we have penchant for showing off the little things we do because of the cheap social media. There we can advertise ourselves without cost. Other people take pictures of us and post them easily in the parish or personal social media account or in the newsletter, without our permission.It has become hard to distinguish between giving plain information and satisfying our narcissistic tendencies. Here we have to discern where we are really coming from when we get involved in charitable activities.We have to admit that many good things are happening in our parishes without being trumpeted. The parishioners feed the indigent children without taking pictures. Some take photos with their mobile phones but keep them for personal use. Others are engaged in medical and dental mission in the far flung areas focused on their work, without bringing video cams and camera.Those who work quietly do meritorious jobs in the Lord’s eyes.
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