One Minute Reflection – 19 June – Wednesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Matthew 6:1–6 and the Memorial of St Romuald (c 951-1027) and St Juliana Falconieri OSM (1270 – 1341)
“Beware of practising your piety before men, in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven..”... Matthew 6:1
REFLECTION – ”Vainglory can find a place, not only, in the splendour and pomp of worldly wealth but even in the sordid garment of sackcloth as well. It is then all the more dangerous, because it is a deception, under the pretence of service to God.
When one dazzles by immoderate adornment of the body and its raiment, or by the splendour of whatever else one may possess, by that very fact, one is easily shown to desire ostentatious display. This person deceives nobody by a crafty semblance of holiness. But if, through extraordinary squalor and shabbiness, one is attracting others’ attention to one’s manner of professing Christianity and if, one is doing this of choice and not merely enduring it through necessity, then one may determine by one’s other works whether one is doing it through an indifference toward needless adornment, or through ambition of some kind. Indeed, the Lord has forewarned us to beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing: “By their fruits you shall know them.”
Trials of one kind or another, that cause these people to lose the very advantages they have gained, through their dress or claimed to deny, what they sought to gain by it, will inevitably reveal, whether it is a case of a wolf under a sheep’s skin or a sheep under its own. But just as sheep ought not to change their skin even though wolves sometimes hide themselves beneath it, so a Christian ought not try to delight the eyes of others by needless adornment, just because pretenders very often assume that scanty garb, which necessity demands and assume it, for the purpose of deceiving those, who are less aware.” … St Augustine (354-430) (Sermon on the Mount, 2)
PRAYER – Lord God, in Your wisdom You created us. By Your providence You rule us. Penetrate our inmost being with Your holy light, so that we may shine only by our service and imitation of Your Son and never seek to shine by our own efforts. May we be mirrors of His meek and humble Heart. Grant that the prayers of St Romuald and St Juliana Falconieri may be help on our way. Through Christ our Lord, in union with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.