• Elpidio Pezzella

In secret

" ...your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly". (Matthew 6:6 NKJV) We all have our hidden room, our deep ocean where we keep our secrets, well protected by many chains and padlocks against any type of intrusion. From time to time, we go back to those secret corners, very carefully, to remember something. Here comes a detail, an image linked to a pleasant emotion or a traumatic moment of the past. We cannot deny it, we are able to keep everyone away, although aware that God knows everything and that he does not need the keys to enter. I do not intend to force anyone's lock, but to reflect on why there are actions that would deserve to be placed under lock and key and that are instead heralded to the four winds. Who knows what the wise thought when he pronounced: "A gift in secret pacifies anger, And a bribe behind the back, strong wrath" (Proverbs 21:14). Perhaps he announced that letting people know what you do makes the most beautiful action ineffective. In the sermon on the mount, Jesus warns the listeners of that time (the readers of all time) against the widespread attitude (alas, still today) of doing so that others see and know. You don't need people to see or know every part of your living the faith, if what you do is turned to God, He is the one who sees in secret. Three times in chapter 6 of Matthew echoes in different terms that "do it in secret":

1. when you help and support financially;

2. when you pray to God;

3. when with fasting you try to humiliate your being.

Unknowingly, our being also tends to seek human admiration, it satisfies the approval of others, when it collects the passer-by's approval and loses sight of the appropriate reasons that should move our hand and heart. If we give alms, it is because we care about helping those in need, we feel the urge to share what we have. If we pray to God it is because we feel the need to speak with him, to seek his intervention and his voice for our life. If we fast, it is because we intend to discipline our body, curb our passions, humiliate the flesh. At least it should be. Jesus' words are clear: "His reward will be public". The others will not fail to acknowledge His favor towards us, as happened at the house of Obed Edom when he hosted the ark of the Lord (2 Samuel 6:10-11). However, I don't think it takes much imagination to associate doing it in public with publishing on social networks, the unstoppable mania for self-reliance and sending every little action to the big square of the Net. It may be true that language and communication has changed, but the fact remains that if we look for a "like" we have lost sight of true spirituality. I dare say that in this case in the name of God we are feeding our ego. To be seen by God, on the other hand, you need to hide, because He sees in secret. He is not interested in what everyone sees. Indeed, the Lord has warned us to keep in mind that if we seek human approval that will be our only reward. We will collect the words and comments of applause, a few clapping and nothing else. Most of the time formal and not even sincere reactions, which bring nothing to our soul.

Devotional 2/2020 Weekly Bible Reading Plan January 06 Genesis 16-17; Matthew 5:27-48 January 07 Genesis 18-19; Matthew 6:1-18 January 08 Genesis 20-22; Matthew 6:19-34 January 09 Genesis 23-24; Matthew 7 January 10 Genesis 25-26; Matthew 8:1-17 January 11 Genesis 27-28; Matthew 8:18-34 January 12 Genesis 29-30; Matthew 9:1-17

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