Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sees in Secret

June 17, 2009

Wednesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time

Consider this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:6-7

And your Father who sees in secret will repay you. Matthew 6:4


Father, you are the gardener and you sent your Son to be our true vine. Help us to always dwell in you as you do in us. We can not bear fruit without you. Help us to remain united with Jesus, the vine. Make us his fruitful branches because apart from him, we can do nothing. (Based on John 15:1-4)


Jesus often stresses his point in teaching by repeating it. And when he repeats something THREE times, he is raising a flag over the words and calling on us to notice these messages well. Today, we have an important lesson which Jesus repeats three times. In almsgiving, prayer and fasting, Jesus advises us to undertake each task in a manner through which others will not know what we are doing.

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. Matthew 6:3-4

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. Matthew 6:6

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 6:17-18

In between these three counsels, Jesus teaches us how to pray the prayer we have come to call the “Our Father.”


Jesus was not one for being flashy. He might have fared better with the Roman and Jewish leaders if he had an agent. But Jesus did not want or need an agent. He knew the Advocate would follow him.

Jesus was here to teach by words and examples. Many people have worked on building upon the important lessons Jesus shares in Matthew 6. Among my favorites in this arena is Rev. Thomas Keating, OCSO. Visit the web site listed below for some interesting articles which may help you with your secret piety and prayer practices.