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Matthew 6: 1-6,16-18

The Word of God

‘Beware of practising your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.

‘So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

‘And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

'And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Matthew 6: 1-6,16-18
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • The beginning of Lent is good news: that God is near and nothing can keep us from God. Jesus will find that himself later on. Anything we do of Lent is to bring us to God and believe the good news. Fasting, prayers and almsgiving are ways to God, not to misery. Even more: Whatever we do for these weeks is to enrich the lives of others.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Do I have a secret room in which I meet God? Am I happy to have God see all that I do?
    • The Kingdom of God becomes visible through my public religious practices, and also through my private works of charity and acts of faith.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • To-day, Ash Wednesday, Christians all over the world begin the penitential but joyous season of Lent. Whatever we do in Lent should bring us ever closer to Jesus, and prepare us to celebrate his resurrection at Easter.
    • Lent is a very personal journey in the company of Jesus. Whatever I agree with him to do or not to do, remains between him and me. It does not concern anyone else. I have a unique relationship with him; I am not part of a herd.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Almsgiving, prayer and fasting are three classical expressions of piety. Each has an important place in our relationship with God and each other. But they can be motivated by selfishness or generosity. Key to our choices is where our hearts are. Is my heart set on God alone? Do I sometimes set out to get praise and admiration?
    • We are asked to carry out almsgiving, prayer and fasting in secret. Yet we are helped by good example. Whatever is done with sincere love will last eternally. I ask for a heart that is free, that enables me to live with sincere love.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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