Today’s Gospel: Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18
In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells us, “Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them…and your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.” What would this sound like for modern ears? Maybe Jesus would say, “Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order to share them with your social media following…and your father, who doesn’t care how many retweets you get, will repay you.”
Jesus also says, “When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites…when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to others to be fasting…” What would Jesus say nowadays? “When you’re sleep deprived, do not complain about it in a Facebook update…” I know some mothers who have given up social media, because they find it to be such a distraction. It can also lead to this sort of thing – bragging about our acts of kindness, or complaining about our many little trials. In the ever-increasing isolation of modern motherhood, it’s understandable. We feel lonely, and we’re looking for affirmation, for sympathy, from somewhere. So, we take to Facebook or Instagram. We try to find someone who will understand. The temptation is no less real for those without social media in their lives. Maybe we find ourselves complaining to the other moms at our preschool drop-off, or to our homeschool co-op. It’s hard, and we feel like venting will make it less hard.
Yet, Jesus reminds us that the affirmation we seek, and the sympathy we long for – it comes from God. He’s the one we should seek. He calls us to offer up our hidden joys and sorrows to him, longing to one day be told, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
Do you bring your triumphs and trials to God, in prayer? Or do you share them with friends and on social media? How can you bring them to God?
Dear God, I often seek instant gratification from others, instead of seeking an eternal reward. Help me not to brag or complain, but to offer everything to You in love. Amen.
Copyright 2018 Michele Chronister
Michele E. Chronister is a wife, mother, speaker, writer, and catechist. A mother to three little girls on earth, and one little one in heaven, she blogs over at mydomesticmonastery.com.
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