2 CORINTHIANS 9:6-11; PSALM 112; MATTHEW 6:1-6, 16-18
The gospel today speaks of the practice of our religious worship. Jesus reminds us of the three “hall-marks” of genuine worship: prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Jesus warns his disciples not to indulge in any form of display so as to attract the admiration of others. Fasting and other works of piety are directed towards God, not man. Don’t try to impress man; just please God. When you pray don’t pray like the Pharisees, when you give alms don’t do it grudgingly but cheerfully as St. Paul recommended in the first reading. Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters in Christ let us practice our religious worship based on internal conviction and not mere external display, pretense, drama, self-advertisement and self-righteousness.
PRAYER FOR TRANSFORMATION
Open my eyes, Lord, to see my true thoughts and motivations. I don’t want to hold on to the self-righteous things I consider worthy but which you have called filthy rags. I want to be emptied of any pretense and reproachful attitudes toward others. Release me, Father, from the grip of negative thoughts and exhibitions. Let your cleansing blood wash over me now. Transform me into your image and likeness. Amen.