Shh! I'm Praying in Secret and Doing Good Deeds!

Jesus said to his disciples:
"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 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 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 others to be fasting,
except to your Father who is hidden.
And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you." - Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

I love today's Gospel!  I can see Our Lord wagging His finger at the disciples quite seriously, yet with a glint of amusement in his eyes because he knows them SO well!  He knows US so well!

I love the pat on the back, the acknowledgement for a job well done or even just "thank you."  The only child in me still seeks the attention.

When I first converted, I could fast easily.  After my third pregnancy, I was no longer able to do it, and I still struggle with it.  Archbishop Fulton Sheen said he never recommended fasting to anyone because he was unable to do it himself, so I guess I'm in good company.

Over the years, I've learned not to "toot my own horn" (to use a very old expression!).  My good deeds presumably went unnoticed.

"And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you" should be enough and most times it is.  Our humanness, MY humanness still longs for the earthly acknowledgement of a job well done or even the acknowledgement of the random act of kindness.  And that's more of a struggle for me than fasting.

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  • Look back on my comments in posts past...Not to toot my own horn, but I referenced this passage weeks ago.

    Not sure why you needed it to be today's Gospel to listen to the passage...

  • In reply to David T.:

    Thanks. I too scan the Gospels in hopes that my faith still burns. With time, though, the flame is often flickered for me..

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