Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit. Teach me to act in secret so I do not 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 focuses on almsgiving, prayer and fasting. All of these should be done secretly so the person is rewarded by God and not by others.
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. Then, 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.)
- The human heart is very twisted and often does good deeds to be seen by others.
- Acting in secret removes this evil and purifies the intention.
- If you act in secret, your heart belongs totally to the Father.
- You preserve the true goodness of your just deeds, 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.)
- Lord, purify my inner self, which is filled with selfish motives.
- Jesus, many times I value men’s esteem more than the Father’s rewards.
- Let me hide myself from everyone but the Father.
- Where is my heart, O Lord? What do I seek? Earthly esteem or heavenly glory?
- Jesus, you emptied yourself so I could grasp heaven’s reward.
- Teach me to love spiritual hiding and holy secrecy.
Resolution (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
- I will try to understand 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.