First Reading: 2Kgs 2:1. 6-14; Psalm: 31. R. v. 25; Gospel: Mt 6:1-6. 16-18
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
Doing good mainly to be noticed by people is called ‘eye service.’ It is an act that seeks the affirmation and praise of people which makes it an impure service because it is not done out of love for God and service to one’s neighbour. It is called ‘eye service’ because it is done to delight the eyes and possibly appeal to the minds of people. It is an action that does not come deep down from the heart of the doer. The danger of eye service is that it is a decoy and not real. The services may be angelic but the doer may be a monster. And this is why it is a decoy.
Jesus said “Beware of practicing 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.” So why practice eye service? In eye service, artificiality replaces naturalness. We give without giving ourselves. We become what we are not and reject what we are. The sin of eye service is deception. For people will conceive a wrong image of us as against our true image. Deception is a grave sin. It is the very first sin recorded in the Bible which was orchestrated by the serpent, the devil and led to the downfall of man. Eye service (deception) leads us into doing our selfish desires and not the will of God.
If the good we do openly can be repeated covertly then it means we are good for the sake of being good and not for the sake of cheap affirmations. What really is our motive in the things we do daily? If we sincerely reflect deeply on this question, perhaps we may begin to have a rethink before doing anything. Self aggrandizement is a very shallow way to reaching self-importance. It doesn’t last. But a good and sincere life is the perfect channel to lasting fulfilment.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord God, help us to be true to you and true to ourselves. Amen.