June 16, 2021 – Wednesday of the 11th Week in Ordinary Time
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/061621.cfm)
As the national election is coming, we can even see now of tarpaulins, photos and videos of aspiring candidates posting their best quotes, achievements, and helping-hand photo opts. Are they doing these as sincere actions to serve the country selflessly without any intention to advance their personal agenda? Maybe yes or maybe not.
However, publishing ones achievements and good works can become self-serving especially if the intention is for our personal interest. In such manner, the object of our good works would only become instruments to seek praise and recognition from people. This is not a true act of generosity and service then, but comes from a heart filled with insecurity and selfishness.
The action of seeking praise and recognition reminds me of today’s Gospel and on how Jesus brought to our awareness the tendency to be image-conscious but insecure.
Jesus reminds his disciples not to become hypocrites who merely wanted to win the praise of others. Jesus criticized people who showed such attitude because of their growing indifference to the poor but swelling self-centeredness. By seeking attention from people, their vain and explicit forms of devotion were totally a mere show for people to see. They wanted people to praise them, to recognize how good, religious and respectable they were. They were seeking fame and power over the people yet, they became hungry for attention. It was as if their good and best self-image was all that matters. Hence, they became pompous and arrogant.
We might not be far from this. We have to be careful when we become anxious and insecure of ourselves. These attitudes will make us image-conscious and we will tend to keep things for ourselves alone. This will make us vain, arrogant, pretentious and selfish who only gives to gain more.
That is why, St. Paul in his second letter to the Corinthians, reminds the Christians to be generous enough. St. Paul writes, “whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” This attitude of generosity comes from the confidence in God who is first generous to us. God’s generosity abounds and endures forever.
Growing in that confidence makes us more secured and assured on what we have today and at this very moment. This is the very spirit that dwell in a cheerful giver that St. Paul tells us in his letter. Indeed, God loves a cheerful giver because God sees Himself in the person. God is the first one who cheerfully gives graces to us. And when we also learn that kind of attitude in God, then, God sees Himself in us.
Certainly, when we also realize how blessed we are, that we too grow in our gratitude to the Lord. It is essential for us to accept and appreciate the graces given to us. They may include not just the material things that we possessed but also our relationships, people who are there to love and support us, the gift of our person, our talents and abilities.
Jesus invites us today that as we recognize truly the good things in us and the blessings that we have, we are called to expressed freely and generously what we have received. No need for boasting the good that we have done because the Father sees everything and is delighted with us.
In this way, we avoid the tendency to be self-serving and greedy, who would always seek for more attention, recognition, praise, and entitlements from others. This will keep us away from becoming the unhappiest person for being a hypocrite.
Hopefully, through this invitation, it will mold us to become grateful persons and cheerful givers, loved by the Lord. May our generosity express the cheerfulness in giving and in sharing our life. Hinaut pa.