Tuesday, June 18, 2019
WEDNESDAY, 11th Week in Ordinary Time
St. Romuald, Abbot
2 Cor 9: 6 – 11 / Mt 6: 1 – 6, 16 – 18
St. Romuald (d. 1027), an Italian Benedictine from a noble family, founded the Camaldolese monks in 980.
FROM THE 1ST READING: 2 Cor 9: 6 – 7
The one who sows meagerly will reap meagerly, and there shall be generous harvests for the one who sows generously. Each of you should give as you decided personally, and not reluctantly as if obliged. God loves a cheerful giver.
FROM THE GOSPEL READING Mt 6: 1 – 2, 5 – 6, 16 – 18
Jesus said to his disciples, "Be careful not to make a show of your righteousness before people. If you do so, you do not gain anything from your Father in heaven. When you give something to the poor, do not have it trumpeted before you, as do those who want to be seen in the synagogues and in the streets in order to be praised by people. I assure you they have already been paid in full. . . .
"When you pray, do not be like those who want to be seen. They love to stand and pray in the synagogues or on street corners to be seen by everyone. I assure you, they have already been paid in full. "When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father who is with you in secret; and your Father who sees what is kept secret will reward you." . . .
"When you fast, do not put on a miserable face as do the hypocrites. They put on a gloomy face, so people can see they are fasting. I tell you this: they have been paid in full already. When you fast, wash you face and make yourself look cheerful, because you are not fasting for appearances or for people, but for your Father who sees beyond appearances. And your Father, who sees what is kept secret will reward you."
The three pillars of Jewish religious practice are prayer, almsgiving and fasting. Jesus warns us not to parade these good deeds in order to receive praise from people around us. We do good deeds not to show to others that we are good persons but because our love for God overflows into our actions.
Prayer is a very important aspect of our Christian life. Through prayer we communicate with God. St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta says, "Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at his disposition, and listening to his voice in the depths of our hearts."
The first reading tells us to give generously with a cheerful heart. The Gospel reading tells us to give alms in secret. Mother Teresa says, "Do not tire of giving, but do not give your leftovers. Give until it hurts, until you feel the pain."
We fast as a way of disciplining the body and encouraging us to give up some pleasurable things to show our concern for the spiritual life and our relationships for God whose Son suffered and died for us.
May we be men and women of prayer, generous in almsgiving and consistent in our penitential practices.
FINALLY, WE PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER, FOR THOSE WHO HAVE ASKED OUR PRAYERS AND FOR THOSE WHO NEED OUR PRAYERS THE MOST.
Have a good day!
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