16th JUNE 2021

Empty Vessels Make the Most Noise - Personal Excellence



2 Cor 9:6-11;                           Ps 112:1-4,9;                           Mt 6:1-6,16-18



Each one of us is unique. We are each gifted with different talents, skills and gifts. But despite these differences, we shoulder a responsibility to help the other. We thus contribute to the growth of humanity concretely, with sincere acts of generosity towards the people we come across in our daily lives. Jesus’ mission was to help the whole of humanity; and this was seen in his concrete actions of reaching out to the sick, the suffering, the destitute and the dying.

Jesus talks of three important things that are characteristic to the life of a man of God – prayer, fasting and almsgiving. These acts, so common among our religious practices, often lack spiritual worth. Jesus reminds us that it is love that gives worth to these acts. Love is the foundation; love of God and neighbour. It is this love that helps one pray better; it is this love that gives purpose and direction to one’s fasting; it is this love that empowers one to sacrifice and to share.

When prayer is reduced to a habit or a ‘show of righteousness’, it loses its value. The purpose of prayer is to be filled with the love of God, so as to go out and give this love to the ones God brings into our lives. When fasting becomes solely a ritual or an obligation, it loses its value. Fasting has a dual purpose of uprooting the unhealthy attachments of the heart, while at the same time, opening our eyes to the needs and sufferings of others. When almsgiving becomes solely a practice to fulfil our Christian obligation of charity, it loses its value. Almsgiving finds its worth in the amount of sincere, unselfish love that is involved in the act.

May our Christian life not be like a decorated but empty vessel; rather, even though it may be simple and ordinary on the outside, may love abide within, that our Father, who sees what is in secret within, will reward us.

Response: Blessed the man who fears the Lord.

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