11th Week of Ordinary Time, Wednesday, Year II

In today’s Gospel Our Lord reminds us that spiritual practices like prayer, fasting, and alms giving are meant for him, not for publicity. He suggests ways to ensure our purity of intention: by donating without fanfare, fasting without letting anyone see you sweat it, and praying without making it a public display. In this way we are showing that those acts of devotion are between us and God, no one else.

Even if we do those acts away from prying eyes we can involve others the right way: by offering up our donations, fasting, and prayers for them and for their intentions. We can also offer them to God simply to thank him for all the blessings he has bestowed on us and others.

Let’s ask Our Lord today to help us pray without ceasing for the benefit of him and others.

Readings: 2 Kings 2:1, 6–14; Psalm 31:20–21, 24; Matthew 6:1–6, 16–18. See also Ash Wednesday and 11th Week in Ordinary Time, Wednesday.