Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Gospel Reflection: Instructions on Fasting [Ash Wednesday 2020 (02.26.20)]

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  to 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 be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.”
- Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18
We as Catholics know that Lent is a time of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.  Even those who do not practice their faith on a daily basis are aware of giving up meat on Ash Wednesday and every Friday during the Lenten season.  However, even if you give to the poor, take time to pray, practice self-discipline and fast, ask yourself why.  What is your purpose?
Our faith is between ourselves and God.  Yes, God wanted us to be a community in prayer and in love.  But it should not to seek approval from anyone else but God, Himself.  So when you are posting about your Lenten sacrifice and how many days you've been good, or even worse,  the days that you were unable to stay disciplined, are you doing it because you are seeking a better relationship and understanding of our Lord, or are you doing it because you are seeking attention of others?