Wednesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
Jesus said to his disciples: “Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.”
I find it amazing how people change over time. It appears as though some bad people, a long time ago, performed good deeds so that others could see them and reward them. Now, it seems as though some good people perform bad deeds so that others can see them and reward them.
According to Christ, they are all hypocrites, for what they do in public does not correspond to their inner heart.
Are you a hypocrite?
Take care. One of the biggest challenges we all face in our lives is to be authentic, to be true. God is not at all interested in making an impression. Can you tell? He lived in a poor, unimpressive village. He came from a poor and unimpressive family. He traveled around a poor and unimpressive nation. By the looks of it, Christ should have gone down in history as being unimpressive and irrelevant.
But looks can be deceiving, and that’s why he was so critical of the Pharisees and scribes. They looked great. They seemed so perfect. They appeared to be so holy.
I’m not holy. I’m not perfect. I’m not great. That is a good start. But it isn’t enough for the Lord. He wants us to be holy, to be perfect and to be great as our heavenly Father is. The Lord doesn’t want us to be “true to ourselves.” He wants us to be “true to our Creator.”
Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly. If St. Paul had been true to himself, he would have never changed himself. The secret to his success was not that he wanted to be a better “he”, but that he wanted to be a better “Him.” “It is no longer I who live in me, but Christ who lives in me” (Gal 2:20).
“Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, consider this: whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2Cor 9:6-11).
Face yourself. Embrace reality. Embrace God.
It’s okay for us to be poor and to look rich. It’s okay for us to make big sacrifices and still have a smile on our face. It’s okay. In fact, it’s better than okay. It’s great! It’s holy and perfect. God loves a cheerful giver, and a cheerful giver tells the world that they are happy in their giving!
Let’s do it. Let’s try it. Let’s see what happens next. You’re gonna like the way you look. I guarantee it.