A Gospel according to Matthew 6:1-6,16-18
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.”
REFLECTION: "Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them"
There is a newish trend in social media for people to post their "good deeds."
For example, the person leaving $1,000.00 tip in a restaurant for their server takes a picture of the receipt, and posts it in Instagram. People make Tik-Toks of themselves giving money to people in need, and similar things.
In a time where young adults and teens have come of age with the internet/social media dictating their every move, it is hard to discern their true intentions, their true hearts.
Are they so used to displaying their every move, meal, clothing in the internet, that showing to their invisible audience their "good actions" is just part of their every-moment behavior?
Are they in such desperate need of reaffirmation that they feel they have to show the whole world how good they are?
Or is this a way to motivate others to do good just like they are doing?
Whatever the case might be, it seems shallow. Even when they are trying to motivate others.
From motivational speakers, popular actors, influencers, and others, when they are trying to teach me to be good, I just find their teachings/examples lacking depth.
They are missing something so simple: the Heart of Jesus.
Their minds and hearts might be in their deeds. Heck, I've even posted this type of pictures in my social media feed. But I am starting to understand that if I am not doing it for love of Jesus by serving my neighbor, then it is an act of self worshiping. It is a conduit to affirm my goodness to the world, and only to it: a way to make sure the image others have of me is a good one.
Posting charitable actions in social media might still be unavoidable in some cases.This is especially true when fundraising for a special cause requires the resources of many to reach a goal in helping others.
But ask yourself, are you doing this to "feel good about yourself"? To make your heart happy and content? To make others have a good opinion of you?
Or are you doing it to console the Sacred Heart of Jesus by helping others?
I invite you to meditate upon this with either the Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus by St. Alphonsus.
Thank you my friend. Peace to you!