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June 16 The Gospel breski1 Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 6,1-6.16-18. Jesus said to his disciples: "Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see …More
June 16 The Gospel breski1

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 6,1-6.16-18.
Jesus said to his disciples: "Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.
When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
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.
When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
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.
When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites. They neglect their appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
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."


Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB

Saint Peter Chrysologus (c.406-450)
Bishop of Ravenna, Doctor of the Church
Sermon 9 ; CCL 24,64 ; PL 52, 211


"They have received their reward"
“Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them.” Why not? If people see them then what will you get out of them? “You will have no recompense from your heavenly Father”. My brethren, the Lord is not bringing judgement here but giving an explanation. He casts light on the wiles of our thoughts; he strips bare the secret intentions of our souls. He draws attention to the measure of a just retribution to those unrighteous pondering righteousness. Righteousness that sets itself in the sight of others can expect no divine reward from the Father. It wanted to be seen and it was seen; it wanted to please others and it pleased them. It has received the recompense it wanted; the recompense it did not want, it will not have (…).
“When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do.” “Blow your trumpet”: this is the exact phrase in that this kind of alms is more like a deed of war than of peace. It passes wholly into its sound but has nothing to do with mercy. It comes from the land of disunion but has not been nourished by goodness. It is a dealing in outward show, not chaste commerce (…). “So, then, when you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.” You have taken good note: alms offered at a meeting, in public squares and street corners is not an offering made for the comforting of the poor but has been set forward in the sight of others to attract their admiration (…) Flee hypocrisy, my brethren, flee from it (…). It does not bring comfort to the poor; the groans of the homeless is only a pretext for it to seek out even more busily a spectacular glory for itself. It inflates its praise of the suffering of the poor.