A Daily Reflection
by Deacon Joe Coan
Wednesday, June 17th
Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father. 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. But, when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you. When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. 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.
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. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.
Didn't we just read this gospel a month or so ago? Yes, we did, on Ash Wednesday. It was a good reading to kick off the beginning of lent. Lots of good things to think about as we began the season. So, why bring it up again? Well, its an excellent reminder, as we re-enter ordinary time, to remain humble and prayerful. Just as we did during lent and Easter.
A famous statesman once wrote in his journal, “Uneasy, uneasy, uneasy – why? ….Because I'm anxious for the good opinion of others.... have I lowered myself to wondering what will happen in the end to what I have done”. Then he added, “Bless my uneasiness as a sign that there is still life in me.”
How much are we controlled or influenced by the opinions of other people?
Lord, give us courage not to do the right things for the wrong reasons.
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