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Wednesday 25 September 2019 – Practicing Piety

Matthew 6:1  “Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2  “So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 3  But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4  so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 5  “And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 6  But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 7  “When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. 8  Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Jesus teaches that our religious life is not to be used to enhance our own status. Our religious ritual, support for charitable causes, and public prayers, all reflect our relationship with God. When we use this relationship to gain social status we betray the very essence of our faith.

Let our good deeds speak louder than our religious observances.

Ordinary 22 / Pentecost +15

44 True Greatness

The Scripture passage for the day is drawn from Reuben Job and Norman Shawchuck, A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and other Servants, (Nashville, The Upper Room 1983), 271.
This reflection is from my own devotional exercises for the day
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“To comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable” Finley Peter Dunne (1867–1936)