Spend some time reading through Jesus’ words in Matthew which we hear on Ash Wednesday.
Clearly, these instructions are a reminder that what we do on our walk of faith is not meant for ‘public display’ but for private edification and growth. (At the same time, one could make the case that in today’s world we all might benefit from a more public display of faith, at least if it is done in the right spirit, which, of course, is the question at hand.)
It is so, of course, that the examples Jesus offers here may not immediately ‘translate’ into our experience. At the same time, if I am honest, sometimes it doesn’t take much for me to see these negative examples living in my life. For instance, at times my generosity may have mixed motives. And perhaps it is so that sometimes I speak too much of what I am doing or have done in order to gain the approval of others. How about you? Do the words of Jesus offer a helpful corrective for us still today?
This section concludes with Jesus speaking of earthly treasures vs. heavenly treasures. How might how we practice our faith demonstrate which treasures matter the most to us?
In your thinking, what is the difference between earthly treasures and heavenly treasures? What are those things which ‘moth and rust’ cannot consume and which thieves cannot steal? Make a list of those treasures. How might our Lenten Journey begin to deepen the value your heart puts on these things?