Reading and meditation on the Word of God, Wednesday of the 11th week in ordinary time

June 16, 2021

Reading is delivered by Serafina Ko and meditation delivered by Worley Pamilaran, from Saint John Bosco Church in Jakarta, Indonesia.

2 Corinthians 9: 6-11; Rs psalm 112: 1-2.3-4.9; Matthew 6: 1-6.16-18.

The reading is taken from the holy Gospel according to Matthew

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 others 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.

The theme for our meditation today is: Spiritual Imaging. There is a story about one particular family who held one of their annual family celebrations. There was an instruction that required every member to exhibit each one’s best achievement. It started with the father, who displayed on the wall his academic titles and work experience certificates in various large and well-known companies. The following were the three children displaying their bachelor, post-graduate and doctoral degrees from their respective fields of study.

The last in line should be the mother. She didn’t feel so insignificant at all because her academic achievement was only up to high school. Her all dedication and works experience has been a good and faithful housewife. She has been a wife to her husband and a mother to her proud children. She came out from the room holding marriage certificate and baptism certificates of the three children and she also displayed them on the wall. Seeing that, the father and the three children were only speechless. They did not dare to say anything either.

This is a story about the family that was doing an imaging activity. The father and his three children indeed did an imaging style to prove themselves that they were very good for all the achievements obtained. This proved a strongintention to show oneself to be the best or the greatest than the others. This is actually the reflection of the basic human nature desire. Jesus always reminds us that self-imaging style, praise seeking and honor pursuance intending to benefit oneself both physical and spiritual power, to the extent to even humiliating or destroying others is absolutely a sinful act. This is the Pharisaic lifestyle.

On the contrary, the mother did a different kind of spiritual imaging. She was presenting something more important and higher than all other kinds of achievements made. The mother actually reminds us to prioritize our relationship with God. When people do not prioritize their relationship with God, they will surely go for all the interests of the world.  A spiritual self-imaging style is basically an invisible thing. We should work more on this aspect. 

The invisible that we are saying is a spiritual building manifested in a strong relationship with God. From within come out the activities of prayer, fasting, charity, collaboration and so on. On the other hand, the lifestyle of the Pharisees was all about showing off  to be seen by others. This style was not interested with spiritual growth in the Lord. They were more concerned with their superficial imaging. Saint Paul in his second letter to the Corinthians gives us an example of spiritual imaging through generous and humble offering of ourselves in good will. A spiritual imaging leads us to the greatness and glory of God, and not to the importance and supremacy of human nature.

Let’s pray. In the name of the Father… O Lord, may in our words and deeds, only Your glory that concerns all our desires and never for the glory of this world. Hail Mary full of grace … In the name of the Father …

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