Today’s Gospel Reading: Matthew 6:1-6,16-18 – ELEVENTH WEEK OF THE YEAR: Wednesday, 20 June 2018
Jesus castigates empty display. The word “hypocrite” derives from a word that originally meant “actor”. The vivid illustration the Lord uses for charity is one of slipping a gift to the poor with one hand rather than ostentatiously giving a gift with both hands.
If we act out our religion for all to see, we already have our applause. In our own day, His words might apply to the danger of using public piety as an evangelistic strategy, familial good example or ideological assertion while forgetting the personal depth and sincerity that make such public displays worthwhile.
Elijah and Elisha (First Reading) were great prophets because of their intense loyalty to God. Faith, which we cannot see, is the driving force behind public example we give which people can see.
Jakarta, 20 June 2018
A Christian Pilgrim