Daily Gospel Reflection for June 18, 2014

6

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Today’s Gospel: Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

A common theme in Jesus’ preaching was the need to perform acts of prayer and goodness out of the public eye. Several times in today’s gospel reading he mentions those who parade their prayers and fasting in front of others have already received their recompense (the attention of their audience). We have to decide which means more to us – the attention and praises of those around us, or the same recompense, in secret, from our Lord.

Jesus tells us to go to our inner room, shut the door, and pray. On one level he certainly could mean physical rooms in your home, office, even in your car as you drive. Perhaps your inner room is your local parish where you go to sit in front of the Blessed Sacrament.

On a deeper level however, he is inviting us into ourselves, finding that space within us where we can encounter Jesus in intimacy and secrecy. Once that inner room is discovered, prayer can take place in the middle of the noisiest places. The more we visit and the longer we stay, the harder we may find it leaving that precious room.

And if we spend enough time in that room, the graces, the joy, the gratitude will come spilling out, overflowing that room into the world around us. Once that happens, there is no way we can wear a face of gloom if we are fasting because of the riches spilling out from our inner rooms. People will be drawn to that joy and gratitude and wonder where it is coming from.

At that point, I’m sure our Lord will want us to reveal our little secret!

Ponder:

Where is your inner room? What is it like?

Pray:

Every minute Lord you invite me into the sacred inner room of my soul where I can sit at your feet and ponder your words as Mary did. Help me to hear that invitation above the noise and distractions of this world. Help me to linger there with you so that my joy can spill out into the world around me. Amen.

Copyright 2014 Susan Bailey

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About Author

Susan Bailey is an writer, speaker and musician. She is the author of River of Grace Creative Passages Through Difficult Times, published by Ave Maria Press, and Louisa May Alcott: Illuminated by The Message, part of the Literary Portals to Prayer series published by ACTA Publications. Along with her own blogs Be As One and Louisa May Alcott is My Passion), Susan frequently contributes to CatholicMom.com and the Association of Catholic Women Bloggers. She has also contributed to Catholic.net and Catholic Online. Susan writes articles and a monthly column known as Be as One for the Diocese of Worcester newspaper, The Catholic Free Press. Bailey, who works as a marketing/advertising assistant for a local real estate firm, is an associate member of the Commission for Women of the Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts, where previously she served as chair and secretary, helping to organize the biennial “Gather Us In” women’s conference, one of the first major Catholic women’s conferences in the country. As part of her duties she wrote the monthly column for The Catholic Free Press known as “Concerning Women” and appeared on CatholicTV’s “This is the Day” to promote the conference. A professional musician and graphic artist, Bailey released four CDs, performed on EWTN, CatholicTV and World Youth Day 2002, and worked as a cantor in her parish of St. Luke the Evangelist for fifteen years. She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education (with concentrations in US History and Music) from Bridgewater State University. She and her husband, Rich, have two grown children and live in North Grafton, Massachusetts. Susan invites you to join her email list where you will receive updates on exciting professional developments and speaking engagements. Email subscribers also receive special giveaways and previews of new projects. Susan loves a good conversation and looks forward to corresponding with you! Join here.

6 Comments

  1. I love this, Susan. My inner room this time of year is my front porch swing, with a view of my flowers and the fields around me. Right now I’m being serenaded by my own personal birdsong symphony.

    And I can’t help but think that my interior inner room isn’t so different…

    Thanks for a great reflection on today’s Gospel!

  2. Susan, I love your reading of this gospel. Because of my ongoing personal struggle with the sin of pride, I read this portion of Matthew more from a perspective of aiming for humility in my almsgiving, prayer and fasting than of finding my “inner room”. In reality, what you’ve shared is a step in the best direction towards being truly humble. Your special prayer is mine today, and I’m thanking God for you!

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