“Take care not to perform righteous deeds
in order that people may see them;
otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.”
~ Matthew 6:1-6
I don’t know about you, but it feels like the world is in dire need of Jesus.
It is an incredibly challenging time to be a Christian.
Today’s Gospel can be easy to misinterpret. Thinking that God is instructing us to have a private faith— praying to our Father in an inner room with the door closed—“in secret,” not showing our fasting efforts, not performing righteous deeds for all to see. Don’t we need to be living our faith out loud? Isn’t that what this world desperately needs right now – examples of Christ’s love?
What Jesus is instructing us is to be connected to the Vine — and have that private, one-on-one time with Jesus where we can get our spiritual battery “recharged” so that we can go out and live boldly for Christ. That is where we get our spiritual sustenance. Taking time away from the noise to focus on our relationship with God, as Christ did in the Garden at Gethsemane, after the multiplication of the loaves (Mark 6:46), and before choosing the twelve apostles (Luke 6:12). Jesus consistently demonstrated the importance of retreating to a private place to pray.
But His instruction doesn’t just stop there:
In today’s first reading, St. Paul gives us just the pep talk we need.
“God is able to make every grace abundant for you,
so that in all things, always having all you need,
you may have an abundance for every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:6-11
This world needs godly men and women to live boldly for Christ. But we’re not going to be left hanging out to dry. God will equip us with the gifts we need to live our lives for Him.
And it is in those quiet, private moments that we’re able to hear those gentle nudgings of the Holy Spirit and thereby become aware of where God is leading us. Any effort we make for Christ, God will multiply and use for the glory of the Kingdom. There has never been a more important time than right now for us to take His instruction to heart and start living our faith out loud.
We need brave Christian men and women to start having a visible faith life— praying outside Planned Parenthood, beginning a “Prayer around the Flagpole” before the bell at public schools, talking about our faith in conversations, or even *gasp* inviting someone to Mass with us.
He will make every grace abundant for us in those moments where we step out for Him, using our time, our talent, or our treasure to further the Kingdom. And looking around, that boldness of faith is precisely what this world needs.
Lord, may we continually find opportunities to be bold for you. Give us the courage to live our faith out loud, knowing that you will sustain us and equip us with everything that we need!
Call to Action
This week, may we intentionally seek quiet, one-on-one time with Jesus to recharge our spiritual battery. May we be open and receptive to the Holy Spirit’s nudging so that we may use our spiritual gifts to go where He leads, living our faith boldly, knowing that God will always meet us halfway!
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