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Scripture Reflection


The 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.”

(Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18)

Reflections: And your Father who sees what is hidden…

Our society values publicity and celebrates showiness. Hence, celebrity status is often perceived as glamorous and desirable. Exposure is equated with influence, and in turn influence is power. This kind of power feeds the ego, consumes and destroys. It is not the power that drives the universe.

The power that drives the universe is a hidden power that gives life to all things in secret. A flower blooms in the dark of night, a look with words unspoken between a man and a woman in love, a soul returning to God in silent repentance, Jesus Christ hidden in the form of bread and wine in the Eucharist.

Hiddenness reflects the value and guards the sacredness of what is hidden. It is the very reason we keep valuable things under lock and key in a safe. Hiddenness honors the beauty of what is hidden and teaches us to appreciate it more. Let us reflect on the hidden life of Our Blessed Mother Mary before the Annunciation, during the earthly life of Jesus Christ and after His Ascension into Heaven.

As a young child, I wondered why her life was not documented in the Gospels, why she rarely spoke in the Gospel stories. I thought it rather strange and mysterious. Now I am only beginning to appreciate that her power and her beauty lie in her silence. The only word she needed to give the world was The Word made flesh, and she did this perfectly in her “fiat”.

May we also seek out the hidden way of the Lord in our prayers and works - for all that should matter is that we hide with God and allow His power to be our influence on the world around us.

PAPA Foundation
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