Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.
Thus, when you give alms, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by men. Truly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when 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.
And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this:
Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our debts,
As we also have forgiven our debtors;
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
And when you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by men but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for t“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is not sound, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
MEDITATION – Dr. Andrew Seeley
“In secret.” As we enter into Lent, Our Lord urges us to give in secret, to pray in secret, to fast in secret. As teachers, we have many opportunities to please the Father who sees in secret since so much of what we do for our students goes unnoticed!
This Lent, let us turn these opportunities into a royal road to Heaven. We can fast from complaining, both outwardly and inwardly, and anoint our faces with joy and peace. We can offer extra prayers on behalf of our students and perform additional services, especially for the most neglected and the most difficult.
“The Father who is in secret” will see and reward us. Let us cultivate a disposition of quiet so that we can be attentively present to Him. We will remember that we teach not primarily for the money (which is less than we desire) or elusive career satisfaction but for Him and His children. He will reward us by filling us with His light and making us light to those around us.
At the beginning of Lent, let us find time to reflect on the past few months of teaching, and identify our sins and failures, and seek God’s merciful pardon. Let us commit to meeting Him regularly by finding a small amount of quiet prayer time.
Indeed You love truth in the heart,
Then in the secret of my heart teach me wisdom.
Purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean,
Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.
Make me know again rejoicing and gladness
That the bones you have crushed may revive.
Turn away Your face from my sins,
And blot out all my guilt. (Psalm 51)
Please also offer one Mass and one Rosary some time this month for the intentions of the members of the Confraternity.