An Authentic Image

This Gospel reflection was first published on FaithND.

At all moments of the day, people’s personal lives and opinions find their home on Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat. Folks of the 21st century seem to have an obsession with making their lives public. This is not always bad, especially when what we are sharing is life-giving. The desire to create an image of oneself and show it off to others, however, rings of the same inauthenticity of the hypocrites in today’s Gospel.

It is somewhat comical, but perhaps helpful, to imagine the hypocrites from today’s Gospel taking selfies as they stand praying on the street corner. They do not make their prayer public to witness to who God is, but rather to create an image of who they would like others to perceive them to be.

Jesus’ response reveals something about what God desires for us. Jesus asks us to be faithful in secret, for God “sees in secret.” Our God who “sees in secret” sees into the depths of our hearts, and knows us more deeply than we know ourselves (Ps 139). Jesus reveals to us today that God wants the intimacy of our hearts. God wants to dwell with us in that quiet space where we are our most authentic selves; where we can dwell with God in loving devotion.

Click here for a link to the readings for today, Ash Wednesday!

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