June 15, 2022
Try Being Anonymous
But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing…
Matthew 6:3

It is nice to be acknowledged for a good deed. It is satisfying to see Catholic Charities acknowledge my donation in their year-end newsletter. It is gratifying to receive the personal thank you for the hot meal prepared for neighbors when the family came down with the coronavirus. It is very human to want our positive actions to be acknowledged. Which makes today’s reading from Matthew’s Gospel a challenging reminder. Jesus tells us there is only one witness we should care about: our “Father who sees in secret” (verse 4).

We may not go to great lengths to fast these days, but we still can be tempted to want the world’s applause for when we do the right thing: pray or sacrifice or give alms. A good practice is to occasionally give anonymously. Deny yourself that little smidge of congratulations. Offer up the nonacknowledgment, knowing that it is our Father in heaven who repays us.

Father, make mine a giving heart that seeks only to imitate the example of your Son.

- Greg Erlandson

2 Kings 2:1, 6-14 • Psalm 31:20-21, 24 Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

Comments

June 16, 2022 at 12:40 AM

Greg, this devotion was perfect for me today. Last month, I volunteered with a group of men from our parish at a Habitat for Humanity home site. This past weekend, there was a write up in our bulletin listing the men who had worked at the house site and noticed my name had been omitted. I must admit that I felt slighted for being forgotten and my labor wasn’t acknowledged. However your reflection has grounded me back to reality. The only one that this matters to knows I was there, our Father in Heaven. Thanks for reminding me of this.

June 15, 2022 at 06:05 PM

Reminds me of *** Colossians 3:17, 23, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the Name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” *** 1 Corinthians 10:31, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” *** Romans 14:8, “If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.” ******* When my focus is on Jesus, nothing else matters! Knowing the Father is pleased, I am satisfied! Where the Holy Spirit is, there is freedom for me!

June 15, 2022 at 05:10 PM

So true, Greg. It's always nice to get noticed for the things we do. But we have to realize that it is often those that are in need who should be the focus rather than us who are giving. I never know who I help by my daily prayers but I'm sure there is Someone up there sorting it all out.

June 15, 2022 at 11:23 AM

Amen!

June 15, 2022 at 09:25 AM

Amen!

June 15, 2022 at 08:17 AM

Amen. :)

June 15, 2022 at 07:58 AM

AMEN

June 15, 2022 at 07:15 AM

Amen…

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Living Faith provides brief daily Catholic devotions based on one of the Mass readings of the day. Published new each quarter, these reflections are written by women and men from a variety of backgrounds - lay people as well as clergy and religious. Learn more.

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