Wednesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
Malvern Minute

 

Wednesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time

June 17, 2020

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Assistant Director for Retreat Ministry

 

Second Book of Kings 2:1, 6-14

Psalm 31

Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

 

Have you ever wondered why Jesus gave His disciples the teaching about prayer, fasting and almsgiving?  Most probably because the Jews considered these three traditional “good works” of the religious life as the key signs of a pious person and are the three great pillars on which a good life is based upon.  But why do we pray, fast and give alms?  Is it to give glory and praise to ourselves so that others may notice (as the “hypocrites” do) or to give glory and praise to God?

Friends, Jesus is teaching us that we are to act out of love in a humble manner that does not seek praise or applause.  If we do that, then like a good Father, God will reward us.   In Matthew’s Gospel there is an echo of several other stories that Jesus told during His preaching/teaching ministry.  They are the stories of the Pharisee and the publican, and the story of the “rich man” and Lazarus.  The rich man and the Pharisee are like the hypocrites that Jesus speaks of today.  They are paid for their hypocrisy, but in a way that was far from pleasant.  The real reward went to Lazarus and the publican.  They went to see and live with God in heaven.   

Prayer, fasting and almsgiving are three ways in which we are to become God’s children.  These three “Christian” practices, and in practicing them, we act as loving daughters and sons of God.  We show God, our loving Father, that we are worthy of His final reward and of His love.

Question of the Day:  How will today’s readings help you to see God as a loving Father, and allow you to clearly look forward to the reward He gives His children?

Prayer:  “Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord!  The Lord keeps those who are constant!  Love the Lord, all you His faithful ones!”  (Psalm 31)

Please continue to pray for the victims of the Coronavirus and for all who are affected by this unprecedented pandemic as well as for peace in our country and in our world.    

Prosit

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