For a more enriching experience,
go down on your knees to pray or take it one step further
and prostrate yourself (lay face down) on the floor while praying.
Father, the reading below serves to remind me of two very important things. 1) That doing Good deeds in order to be seen or rewarded is not only inappropriate behavior, it is not in alignment with Your Instruction. 2) That fasting is a sign of mourning or suffering. Whether I fast during the upcoming Lenten Season or at another time during the year, it is important to remember that my suffering is between You and me. It is not for me to call attention to myself so others can see my sacrifice.
During this upcoming Lenten Season, as I contemplate the path that Jesus took toward His own crucifixion, I need to remember that there is nothing that I can give up and sacrifice during Lent that would remotely come close to what Jesus gave up and sacrificed for me. I thank You for this reminder as I quietly and reverently stay on my Lenten journey without calling attention to myself or bragging about what I chose to give up as a sacrifice for Lent.
Through Jesus Christ's Most Precious Blood, Most Sacred Name and Most Holy Face, I thank You for this awareness. Amen~
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew
Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18
1 "(But) take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.
2 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.
3 But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing,
4 so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.
5 "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.
6 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.
16 "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.
17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,
18 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.
The Gospel of the Lord
Praise to You Lord Jesus Christ
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