HOMILY FOR WEDNESDAY OF THE 11TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME CYCLE II
THEME: PURPOSE OF PIETY
BY: FR. GERALD M. MUSA
HOMILY FOR WEDNESDAY JUNE 15 2022
‘Eye-service’ (occulus servietes) is the act of doing a good thing just to be noticed, praised and commended. Jesus vehemently warns against eye service in exercising piety (devotion to religious duties and obligations). He says, “Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who his in heaven” (Matthew 6:1). He mentions specifically the dangers of eye service in the exercise of three basic elements of religious piety which are charity, prayers and almsgiving. The factors that defeat and corrupt the purpose of piety are as follows: blowing our trumpet (self-promotion); doing good works just to be noticed or for public admiration (parading our good deeds before men); unnecessary advertising or publicising of good works. Usually, public philanthropy and charity are viable strategies for politicians who seek to be elected for political positions. However, Jesus says the reward of outward show of piety is minimal – which is momentary praise from people. Conversely, a piety that is cheerful, discreet, gentle, and guided by a pure intention receives bountiful reward from God who sees in secret. How pure are our motives when we do good works? Do we do the right thing with the wrong motive? Do we do good to seek praise for ourselves, impress people or channel the glory to God?
MATTHEW 6:1-6, 16-18