19th JUNE 2024

Discernment of Religious Teachers and Teaching - We Would Rather Have Jesus



2 Kgs 2: 1, 6-14;                    Ps 31: 20, 21, 24;                   Mt 6: 1-6, 16-18




The gospel emphasizes prayer, fasting, and alms. Jesus warns His disciples against self-seeking glory and emphasizes the importance of doing good works in secret. Sincerity and secrecy are also crucial in practicing these virtues, as they help maintain communion with God our Father.


Saint Teresa emphasizes prayer as an intimate conversation with God, influenced by Jesus’ life. It involves faith, forgiveness, reconciliation, and persistence. Saint Augustine explains that the efficacy of prayer depends on reconciliation, and God may delay our desires due to our hearts’ expansion. Almsgiving deals with community relationships, preserving dignity, and avoiding personal opinions. Fasting is a religious practice that involves a humble spirit seeking purification and discipline, considered more significant by Jewish rabbis. It strengthens prayer and expresses mourning, helps to resist temptation and choose holiness.


Almsgiving is a practice where the giver and receiver are unaware of each other’s intentions, aiming to preserve dignity and avoid revealing personal opinions. It is important to allow the people to give alms for the good of the other. Jewish rabbis considered fasting more significant than alms giving; as it strengthens prayer and expresses mourning. By disciplining our free will, we can resist temptation and choose holiness.


Finally, Jesus invites us to act always for the glory of God and to please the Father, as we were created for this purpose. The Catechism of the Church confirms this, stating that God created everything for man, but man was created to serve and love, offering all creation back to him. This is the meaning of our life and honour, as Christ left us an example. If only the Father could give us the same testimony as He gave for his Son, we would be well pleased. Therefore, let us practice doing good and choose what is right in the sight of God.


Response: Be strong, let your heart take courage, all who hope in the Lord.

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