Wednesday, June 17, 2015

June 17, 2015 Wednesday: 11th Week in Ordinary Time

June 17, 2015 Wednesday: 11th Week in Ordinary Time

A well-known pastor in the German city of Berlin got onto a double-decker bus, took a seat on the upper deck, open his breviary and began to say prayers. Hardly had he begun, when a passenger who was sitting beside him began to make remarks so loud that everyone could hear him. “Take a look at this fellow,” he shouted. “this great man of God climbs up the top of a bus, takes out his prayer book and starts praying publicly so everyone can see him and think he is a pious man!”

Then he continued the attack: “When I say my prayers, I follow what Jesus says in the scriptures…about closing the door and praying to God in private.” To which the pastor added, “And then you climb to the top of a bus and tell the whole world about it.”

At times we make people believe that we are better than we really are, and more religious than we really are. I read a book that says, “we are no more and no less than what we can claim to be before God Himself.”

Truth, honesty and sincerity should be the important components in the spiritual disciplines of almsgiving, prayer and fasting. This gospel is an invitation to shun showing off, deception and, in one word, “hypocrisy” in what we do and say. The Prayer of St. Ignatius of Loyola summarizes the gospel: to give and not to count the cost…to fight and not to heed the wounds…to toil and not to seek for rest…to labor and not to ask for any reward, save that of knowing that I do your will, O God. (Fr. Deva, SVD Bible Diary 2006)