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Today's Gospel + short theological explanation

Wednesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
Gospel text (Mt 6:1-6.16-18): Jesus said to his disciples: “Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father..."

Rectitude of intention

Fr. Antoni CAROL i Hostench (Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain)

Today, Jesus Christ requests the Pharisees "to do well" with "good intentions". For us to be good it does not suffice to do "good things"; we are also required to "do them well", and to do them in "the right context". The Pharisees used to do good things (like the giving of alms…) to pretend to be good. But this lack of coherence disgusts God very much.

First, we are to do constructive actions for ourselves and for others. To tell a lie, for instance, is something destructive: it makes me a liar; while I "contaminate" the other party’s intelligence. Only real good things make good use of my will. But, other than a "good starting point", it is required to take a "good course" (rectitude of intention). When I do something good with bad intention, I am, actually, working “for” the wicked. Therefore, both the "what" and the "what-for" must be good.

—My God, I want to kiss you, but not to "surrender" you, but to "surrender" myself to You.