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  • Writer's pictureElpidio Pezzella

God Sees in Secret

''A gift in secret pacifies anger, And a bribe behind the back, strong wrath.''

(Proverbs 21:14 NKJV)

This week we have left behind the holiday season, also marked by the exchange of gifts and presents for the little ones. Who knows what the wise man thought when he expressed this sentence, perhaps he announced that making known what one does makes a beautiful and honorable action ineffective. An invitation not to spread to the sun what the heart should generate in private. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus warns the listeners of that time (the readers of all time) against the widespread attitude of doing so that others see and know. You do not need people to see or know every part of your living in the faith, if what you do is addressed to God, He is the one who sees in secret: "Your Father who sees in secret will reward youopenly" (Matthew 6:6). Three times he echoes that "do it in secret" in different terms:

1. when you help and financially support;

2. when you turn to God with prayer;

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

Unknowingly, even our being tends to seek human admiration, it is satisfied with the approval of others, when it collects the approval of the passer-by and loses sight of the appropriate reasons that should move our hand and our 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, to restrain our passions, to humiliate the flesh. At least that's how it should be. Jesus' words are clear: "his reward will be public". The others cannot fail to recognize his favor with us, as happened at the house of Obed Edom when he hosted the ark of the Lord (2 Samuel 6:10-11).

However, I do not think it takes a lot of imagination to associate doing it in public with publishing on social media, the irrepressible mania of photographing oneself and sending every smallest action to the great square of the 'Net'. It may be true that language and communication have changed, but the fact remains that if we look for "like" we have lost sight of true spirituality. I dare to say that in that case in the name of God we are feeding our ego. To be seen by God, on the other hand, it is necessary to hide, because He sees in secret. What everyone sees does not interest him. 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 clappings of hands and nothing else. Most of the time, formal and not even sincere reactions, which do not bring anything to our soul.

Who knows, we should learn to pay more attention to our hidden bedroom, that deep ocean where we keep secrets, well protected by chains and padlocks against any kind of intrusion. There we can store the sweet pleasure of the emotion felt when the eyes of those we reached smiled or cried. This also means protecting and safeguarding those who receive, and not making them the object of our benevolence. Let's go back to cultivating the secret corners, with great attention, where if necessary we can dust off some memories from which to draw the necessary to appease a moment of anger or rage. We cannot deny it, if we want it, we are capable of keeping everyone away, and guarding our good deeds jealously, 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 encourage you to reflect on why those actions that deserve to be locked up are instead heralded to the rooftops.


Weekly Bible Reading

Plan # 03

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

January 13, Genesis 31-32; Matthew 9:18-34

January 14, Genesis 33-35; Matthew 10:1-20

January 15, Genesis 36-38; Matthew 10:21-42

January 16, Genesis 39-40; Matthew 11

Photo by Exian,

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