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Daily Devotional for September 28


September 28                                       Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

         "Beware of practicing your piety before others
                         in order to be seen by them."

Aristotle wrote that there are several kinds of good persons.
There are those who will to do good because they are afraid
of what might happen to them if they do not. There are those
who will to do good because they want to be praised. Then
there are those Aristotle called the "truly good." They will
to do good, purely because it is good. In other words, they
perform good deeds because it is right and just that they do so.

Jesus' words in the Gospel today invite us to join the ranks
of the "truly good." Jesus tells us to give to the needy, not
to be praised by others, but simply because there is a need to
be filled. Jesus asks us to pray, not because we want others
to think we are holy persons, but because we wish to
communicate with God. Jesus invites us to fast and make
sacrifices with joy, not asking to be pitied. We are to do good
because it is good, and because our Heavenly Parent desires it.

In many ways, Jesus' words about good deeds are specific
guidelines for a ministry of service. To be a servant of God
is to relinquish control over our lives and offer them to God
for God's glory. Because we know who we are, we do not
crave our own glory. We testify to others about the wonder-
ful ways that God works in all our lives; we seek to reveal
the Christ to all whom we meet.

True servanthood can be challenging in a world where we are
taught much more about selfishness than we are about
selflessness. We are taught that we must toot our own horn,
for no one else is likely to toot it for us. But if we are seeking
only God's grace and God's reign, we seek only to become
one with God, to live in union with the divine. Only through
giving up our ego, our desire to control, letting go of the part
of ourselves that seeks to be praised, can we truly become one
with God and with all creation.

As you read today's Gospel, reflect on the attitude with which
you serve.

From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle

Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C.1989

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