For God’s Eyes Only

Matthew 6: 1-6,16-18
2 Cor 9:6-11 / Ps 31

When you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret.
(Matthew 6:3-4)

The righteousness of every act
Comes from the grace of God above;
In all good things we shall not lack,
As we share humbly in His love.

Jesus said in today’s Gospel, “Take care not to perform righteous deeds before people, otherwise you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father. When you give alms, do not have it trumpeted before you, as 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.” (Mt.6:1-2)

Reflection

Like the pharisees in Jesus’ time, some of our politicians are inclined to trumpet their accomplishments, or proposed projects in billboards along the sites (especially when election time draws near). Their purpose is not to inform the public, but to banner their accomplishments. Which, after all, is to be expected of them.

Some say it is difficult to be humble because the penchant for recognition is really just human nature. Just as we praise others for their good deeds or noble traits, we also want others to know what we see as commendable in ourselves. But it is the man who has grown in wisdom through God’s grace who does not seek the praise of men. Knowing that his good deeds are pleasing in the eyes of God is enough for him. The good that he does is the consequence of his gratitude to Divine Providence because he has already received his reward. As St. Paul wrote in the first reading, “God Who provides the sower with seed will also provide him with the bread he eats. He will multiply the seed for you and also increase the interests of your good works. Become rich in every way, and give abundantly.” (2Cor.9:10-11)

Those who seek human praise will become addicted to such adulation because they are feeding the voracious appetites of vanity and pride. They will never be satisfied, and will always be under the stress of craving for more attention and recognition to sustain their equilibrium. The humble man is content to do his best and nothing more, because he knows God will do the rest. He who does not seek the praises of men is happy and contented in silently doing God’s will for him, knowing that in the end he will receive his reward when he hears the Father tell him, “Well done, good and faithful servant, come and enjoy the fruits of your labor in My kingdom.”

As You have given us the precious things in this life, and even humbled Yourself on the cross that we may be saved, so may we also humbly share with others. Amen.

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