Daily Readings

The daily readings for the Eucharistic celebrations.

Fathers

The Fathers of the Church and their explanations of the readings of the day.

History

Historical books of the Old Testament

The Sunday Lectionary

Sermon and homily notes for Sundays

Video

Videos mostly from YouTube

Home » Daily Gospel, Daily Readings

Your Father Who Sees in Secret (Mt. 6:1-6.16-18)

Submitted by on Wednesday, 16 June 2010No Comment

elijah-chariotoffire

  • Reading I: 2 Kings 2:1.6-14
  • Resp. Psalm: Psalm 31
  • Gospel Reading: Matthew 6:1-6.16-18

In Matthew 6:1-6.16-18 Jesus tells his listeners how to have a spirituality that is higher than that of the Pharisees even in matters of Jewish acts of piety. Verses 7-15 has been omitted because it will be read at a different time. These teachings on almsgiving, prayer and almsgiving follow a similar structure, that can be illustrated as follows:

  • When you [act of piety] … do not [do as the hypocrites do]
  • They have received their reward
  • When you [act of piety] … do it in secret
  • Your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

Below is the text pared down to the bare essentials. Verse 1 is the general premise.

Jesus said to his disciples:
1Take care not to perform righteous deeds
in order that people may see them;
otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.

Almsgiving Prayer Fasting
2When you give alms, do not…
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
5When you pray, do not …
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
16When you fast, do not …
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
3But when you give alms, … 4so that your almsgiving may be secret. 6But when you pray, …
and pray to your Father in secret.
17But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,
18…except to your Father who is hidden.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.

Note too that the contrast in these verses is between "doing for others to see" and "doing for the Father to see (in secret)". The contrast is not between public and private. The key idea here is "your Father who sees in secret will repay you."

The responsorial psalm of the day has the following verses:

You hide them ("those who fear You") in the shelter of your presence
from the plottings of men;
You screen them within your abode
from the strife of tongues.

The lines describe how God protects those who fear Him, "hiding" and "screening" them "in his shelter", "within his abode". What this line describes is similar to what Paul writes about in Colossians 3:1-4

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

The Christian, because of his union with Christ in baptism, now lives his life before the presence of God in a way that is not obvious to him or to others who may be seeing him. He is hidden from all but not to God. He has become "heavenly" in a sense, that is why his heart should be fixed on what is heavenly. When we read the liturgical texts for this day from this perspective. It becomes easy to understand why the Christian should prefer to do things for the heavenly Father to see and not as the hypocrites do who perform pious acts for the approval of men. The Christian in a way, is like Elijah in the first reading who was snatched from the world to be forever in God’s presence. He is now "hidden with Christ in God" just waiting until the Lord appears once more in glory.

2 Kings 2:1
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
1And it came to pass, when the Lord would take up Elias into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elias and Eliseus were going from Galgal.
Matthew 6:1-6
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
1Take heed that you do not your justice before men, to be seen by them: otherwise you shall not have a reward of your Father who is in heaven.
2Therefore when thou dost an almsdeed, sound not a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be honoured by men. Amen I say to you, they have received their reward.
3But when thou dost alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doth.
4That thy alms may be in secret, and thy Father who seeth in secret will repay thee.
5And when ye pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites, that love to stand and pray in the synagogues and corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men: Amen I say to you, they have received their reward.
6But thou when thou shalt pray, enter into thy chamber, and having shut the door, pray to thy Father in secret: and thy Father who seeth in secret will repay thee.
Matthew 6:1-6
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
1Take heed that you do not your justice before men, to be seen by them: otherwise you shall not have a reward of your Father who is in heaven.
2Therefore when thou dost an almsdeed, sound not a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be honoured by men. Amen I say to you, they have received their reward.
3But when thou dost alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doth.
4That thy alms may be in secret, and thy Father who seeth in secret will repay thee.
5And when ye pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites, that love to stand and pray in the synagogues and corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men: Amen I say to you, they have received their reward.
6But thou when thou shalt pray, enter into thy chamber, and having shut the door, pray to thy Father in secret: and thy Father who seeth in secret will repay thee.
Colossians 3:1-4
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
1Therefore, if you be risen with Christ, seek the things that are above; where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God:
2Mind the things that are above, not the things that are upon the earth.
3For you are dead; and your life is hid with Christ in God.
4When Christ shall appear, who is your life, then you also shall appear with him in glory.

Popularity: 9% [?]

Leave your response!

You must be logged in to post a comment.