Daily Gospel Reflection – June 21st, 2023

The Gospel According to Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

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. When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you. 

When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites. They neglect their appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to others to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.


Jesus’ words in this reading may give us ideas about how we should look within ourselves when doing something for others. Jesus warns his disciples not to do good deeds simply so others will think highly of them!  Jesus wants his disciples to be aware of their motivation for what they do.  He wants them to do what is right or good because they desire to help others, love others, and make the world a better place.

Jesus is not concerned primarily about the actions of his disciples.  Rather, He is concerned about their motivations.  Jesus hopes their actions and decisions will flow from love of God, love of the Gospel, love for the people and love for the world.  Truly, love is all that matters.

How often do we stop and examine our motivations?  It is easy to move through the day and simply go about our business.  Are we concerned about others or are we too preoccupied even to notice the people around us?  I believe that most people in the world want to be good.  Most people do care for others and desire to help them. 

Our motivations, however, are not always clean and pure.  At times, do I choose to do something so the other person will think well of me?  Do I go to church because that is where I want to be, or do I attend simply because I am supposed to?   When I am tired, do I ignore someone who might need some help?  If I am in a bad mood, do I take it out on other people? 

I close with a quote from “Holy Moments” from Matthew Kelly… “If you only learn to master one moment in your life, learn to master the moment of decision…Life is choices. We are constantly making them. But are we choosing wisely? We are not born great decision makers. It is something that must be learned.”

I assume that all of us have made some of the choices listed above at times in our lives.  However, if most of our time and attention is focused primarily on ourselves and our own needs, it might be a good idea to reflect on how we’ve learned to make our choices.  Most often the source of our happiness is in the people in our lives.  Hopefully, most of the people around us bring us joy and love.  Yes, there will be difficult times.  However, if love is present, difficulties can be worked out.  In our daily life, it is their presence, love and care that is the greatest gift we can receive.

Action of the Day:

Today may we be mindful of our choices and decisions.  We have heard the saying: “What would Jesus do?”  Today we might experience a choice or challenge as we go about our day.  May we pause for a moment and thoughtfully ask ourselves: What would Jesus do?  Listen for Jesus’ answer.  He will respond.

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