Gospels in a Year

Today’s Reading: Matthew 6:1-4

1 “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.
2 “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 received their reward. 3 But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Today’s Commentary:

Give alms: Charitable gifts given to the poor (Sir 17:22; Lk 3:11; CCC 2447).

Hypocrites: Refers to “actors” or “stage players”. Jesus may have certain scribes and Pharisees in mind (cf. 23:5, 27-28) who perform outward devotions to be seen and praised by men. The exercise of one’s faith can be public, so long as it flows from proper intentions (5:16).