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DONE ONLY TO PLEASE THE LORD

Father Francis's picture
Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time

2 Cor. 9:6-11 & Mt. 6:1-6, 16-18.

In living our Christianity Jesus does not want us to play to an audience. We should not have the motive of drawing people to ourselves who admire and applaud the good we do. The Christian life is not an on-stage performance.

Jesus gives three examples of Christian acts upon which we should not shine the light of publicity. They are giving alms, praying and fasting. These examples are meant to bring home the point that we should not be doing anything to seek the attention and admiration of others. When we give or when we pray or when we fast should be done quietly and unostentatiously. If we trumpet the good we do before the gaze of others, and look for their praise and admiration, we may have our reward in this world but, in Jesus' words, we shall forgo it in the next. The praise in most cases will only be self-praise for people generally don't like those who brag about their own achievements and good works.

In the first reading Saint Paul tells us that our giving should be done unobtrusively, willingly and cheerfully. It doesn't matter whether or not other people know because it is not what others think of us that counts. The only thing that matters is what our heavenly Father knows about us.

Lord Jesus, let us try only to please Your heavenly Father. Our good deeds will never be forgotten by Him, and on Your word He will most certainly reward what we do in secret.

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