Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit. Teach me to act in secret. I do not want to lose my reward.
Imagination (Picture Jesus teaching the disciples how to gain their reward.)
Jesus contrasts Christian goodness with the goodness of the Pharisees. He highlights doing good deeds in secret, with purity of intention.
Gospel Text (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
Do not perform good deeds before men so you can be seen by them. If so, you will receive no reward from your heavenly Father.
When you give an alms, do not blow a trumpet, as hypocrites do. They already have their reward. Give your alms in secret, and your Father, who sees in secret, will repay you.
When you pray, go to your room and pray in secret. Your Father who sees in secret, will repay you.
Thoughts (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- Your heart is very twisted. You often do good deeds to be seen by others.
- Acting in secret removes this evil and purifies your intention.
- When done in secret, your good deeds belong totally to the Father.
- You preserve the true goodness of your alms and your prayer.
- In demanding secrecy, Jesus has one goal. He wants you to receive the heavenly Father’s reward.
Affections (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- O Lord, purify my selfish motives.
- O Jesus, how many times I value men’s esteem more than the Father’s rewards.
- Let me hide myself from everyone but the Father.
- O Father, you wait for me to come to you in secrecy, unknown to others.
- Where is my heart, O Lord? What do I seek? Earthly esteem or heavenly glory?
- O Jesus, you emptied yourself. I, too, will empty myself to grasp heaven’s reward.
Resolution (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
- I will try to see the inner movements of my heart.
- I will do all for the Father’s glory.
Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)
The heavenly Father, who sees in secret, will repay you.