First reading 2 Corinthians 9:6-11

There is no limit to the blessings which God can send you

Do not forget: thin sowing means thin reaping; the more you sow, the more you reap. Each one should give what he has decided in his own mind, not grudgingly or because he is made to, for God loves a cheerful giver. And there is no limit to the blessings which God can send you – he will make sure that you will always have all you need for yourselves in every possible circumstance, and still have something to spare for all sorts of good works. As scripture says: He was free in almsgiving, and gave to the poor: his good deeds will never be forgotten.
  The one who provides seed for the sower and bread for food will provide you with all the seed you want and make the harvest of your good deeds a larger one, and, made richer in every way, you will be able to do all the generous things which, through us, are the cause of thanksgiving to God.
 
 

Responsorial Psalm 111(112):1-4,9

Happy the man who fears the Lord.
or
Alleluia!
 
Happy the man who fears the Lord,
  who takes delight in all his commands.
His sons will be powerful on earth;
  the children of the upright are blessed.
 
Riches and wealth are in his house;
  his justice stands firm for ever.
He is a light in the darkness for the upright:
  he is generous, merciful and just.
 
Open-handed, he gives to the poor;
  his justice stands firm for ever.
  His head will be raised in glory.
 
 

Gospel Matthew 6:1-6,16-18

Your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Be careful not to parade your good deeds before men to attract their notice; by doing this you will lose all reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give alms, do not have it trumpeted before you; this is what the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win men’s admiration. I tell you solemnly, they have had their reward. But when you give alms, your left hand must not know what your right is doing; your almsgiving must be secret, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.
  ‘And when you pray, do not imitate the hypocrites: they love to say their prayers standing up in the synagogues and at the street corners for people to see them; I tell you solemnly, they have had their reward. But when you pray, go to your private room and, when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in that secret place, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.
  ‘When you fast do not put on a gloomy look as the hypocrites do: they pull long faces to let men know they are fasting. I tell you solemnly, they have had their reward. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that no one will know you are fasting except your Father who sees all that is done in secret; and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.’
 
 
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God sees our hearts

Deep down, what motivates me to help someone, give alms or attend religious activities? Is love for God and His people my motivation? We often want people to acknowledge and praise us for all we put in and our hard work. Moreover, society encourages us to focus on outward appearances and gain attention from people.
 
“…your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you”. Jesus calls us to do good actions in secret and to have the desire to be seen by God alone. The words of Jesus are a challenge as we do things with the need for attention and praise from people. Today, let us give of ourselves, love, pray, etc., “in secret” because we know that God our Father sees our hearts and takes delight in us.
 
Reflective questions:
Do I sometimes crave others’ admiration and praise? What is Jesus’ invitation for me today? 
 
 
Acknowledgment: Reflections are based on “Prayer for Living: The Word of God for Daily Prayer Year A” by Sr Sandra Seow FMVD.