“Today, Jesus gives us a key instruction about three important acts of piety,” says Father Jerry in today’s homily above. Do not do things in order to be seen. Being seen, and acts which are done in order to be seen, are not the same thing.
In Jesus’ time, some Jews practiced extreme fasting and acquired a reputation for being especially devout, Christ however warns that those who call attention to themselves by a conspicuous giving, praying, and fasting, will have their reward — earthly glory — and thus for going any divine reward.
“The Lord pronounced them hypocrites, a word that originally referred to actors in ancient Greek theatre,” Father adds, “Masks expressed emotion, and the real person was under the mask. Whoever performs acts of piety to be seen is a true hypocrite, merely wearing masks of mercy piety and devotion.”