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.
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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