WHAT IS YOUR MOTIVE?

Wednesday 18th June – Wednesday of week 11 of the year

Reflection: Matthew 6: 1-6, 16-18

WHAT IS YOUR MOTIVE?

Our society generally considers generosity a lofty virtue that promotes our collective welfare as humans. This is so because in giving we accommodate the needs of others in our own needs. Yes, our own needs, because we all lack one thing or the other – real or apparent. So, everyone can give and to everyone something should be given!

The height of our generosity ordinarily should reflect the extent of our love for others and the degree of our detachment from worldly gains. This however is not always the case as many give for ephemeral motives: to gain recognition and reputation; in anticipation of some forms of payback, or simply to return the good of “yesterday.” The motives, other than love, can be very numerous.

It is these defects in “goodness” that our Lord Jesus Christ addresses in today’s Gospel. We are not to make a show of our good acts; we must not minimise, delay or out rightly neglect a good initiative simply because there is no public recognition of it. That we are anonymous to men does not make us anonymous to God – who perfectly rewards all goodness. Dear friend, until love becomes the driving force, the motive, behind all our “good deeds,” we run the risk of primarily willing and seeking our own good through our presumed goodness to others.

Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, please purify my motive that all the good I do may stem from my love for you and my neighbour; that it may not be tainted with inordinate interests! Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 826: Charity is the soul of the holiness to which all are called: it “governs, shapes, and perfects all the means of sanctification.”

If the Church was a body composed of different members, it couldn’t lack the noblest of all: it must have a heart and a heart burning with love. And I realised that this love alone was the true motive force which enabled the other members of the Church to act; if it ceased to function, the Apostles would forget to preach the gospel, the martyrs would refuse to shed their blood. Love, in fact, is the vocation which includes all others, it is a universe of its own, comprising all time and space – it’s eternal! – St Therese of Lisieux

HIDE A TREASURE: “If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing” 1 Corinthians 13: 3 RSV-CE

Readings for today: 2 Kings 2: 1, 6-14; Psalms 30: 20, 21, 24; Matthew 6: 1-6, 16-18

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