The daily Gospel reading from the Mass for Wednesday of the 11th Week of Ordinary Time is Matt 6:1-6; 16-18.

After confirming how His New Covenant requires men to pursue a much higher state of inner holiness than required by the Old Covenant, Christ continues His  Sermon of the Mount by instructing men as to how to engage in religious practices. Christ teaches the correct way to give alms, pray and fast, rebuking hypocrites who seek self-glorification from others through prideful conspicuous acts of piety.

Christ confirms the importance of religious piety but instructs men to perform their acts of religious piety with humility and secrecy. Christ reveals the Father knows even the most secret of acts by men, confirming the Father’s omniscience; nothing is hidden from the Father including secret acts, both pious and evil. Christ reveals the Father rewards those acts done with a spirit of humble piety but will not reward acts taken for self-glorification.

Warning men, Christ condemns the hypocrites who make a public spectacle of giving alms to bring attention to themselves. While Christ desires for men to do good deeds to proclaim Christ (Matt 5:16), He also directs men to give anonymously to avoid the temptation to self-glorification. Christ confirms God the Father sees all and rewards men who selflessly give to the poor. Similarly, Christ suggests avoiding showy prayer in public, urging men to practice deep private prayer as He demonstrated numerous times (Matt 14:23; Mark 1:35); elsewhere, Christ and His Church emphasizes the practice of communal prayer (Matt 18:20; Acts 1:12-14). God desires and rewards men for their humble prayers. Christ also emphasizes the need to fast, promising that God sees and rewards humble fasting and ignores fasting by hypocrites who seek praise from others.

Awed by Jesus ChristAlmighty King, Christ has Divine Authority and commands His disciples to rigorous disciplines that put love into action.Son of God, Christ reveals the Father’s omniscience and how the Father rewards humble piety and ignores the false piety of men. Divine Mercy, Christ asserts His special concern for the poor. Divine Judge, Christ rebukes hypocrites who pervert good deeds for self-glorification and promises the Heavenly Father repays men for their good deeds.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Christ makes a public authoritative correction of the standards of piety of some of the most powerful religious men in Jerusalem. Be awed by Christ’s Divine Authority, boldness, courage and clarity in correcting the vain sins of powerful men.

2) Many hypocrites seek glory and honor by conspicuous “charity”, and many more fail to give adequately to the poor. Review the importance of almsgiving (CCC 2447, 1430) and pray for Christ to help you to grow in generosity.

3) The majority of Catholic men do not pray or fast on a regular basis. Refresh your commitment to Daily Prayer (CCC 2659-2660, 2744-2745) and regular Fasting (CCC 1434, 1969, 2043, 2742) and pray for Christ to help you to draw closer to Him through daily prayer and regular fasting.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Glorious Mysteries

Daily Devotion – Saint Joseph

Virtue of the Day – Temperance

Corporal Work of Mercy – To visit the imprisoned

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To comfort the sorrowful