Pursuing the Best Reward

Growing up, the biblical passage most quoted in my family was the Ash Wednesday gospel proclamation (Mt 6:1-6, 16-18). Why did we reference it so much? Well, because it addressed areas that the five of us needed to work on.

The passage I am referring to is from the Sermon on the Mount when Jesus addresses prayer, fasting, and almsgiving—the three major tenets of Lent. While advocating for all three of these things, Jesus also reminds us that they need to be done for the right reason, which is to give glory to God.

Sloan and I after attending the school Ash Wednesday mass today.

Sometimes we might be too eager to broadcast our Lenten intentions to others or quick to highlight our hunger on a fasting day. Or perhaps we make a display of picking off the meat on a slice of pizza on a Friday or we post about a charitable donation on social media.

This misses the entire point of Lent which is to prepare for Easter by drawing closer to God and denying ourselves. Instead, by drawing attention to our supposed good deeds, we aren’t actually doing them for God but rather for attention and praise from others.

Everything we do for Lent over these next 40 days must be done for the glory of God, not for our own ego. It is easier said than done. Luckily, I have my family to call me out when I fall short—which I do. Yes, we still quote the Ash Wednesday gospel reading to each other, even if it is now done over our family text thread.

This Lent, may we focus even more on striving to obtain a heavenly reward instead of the empty human-based temporal reward coveted by the “hypocrites.” God bless you all. Don’t Blink.

Past Lenten Blog Posts
Lent 2024: Ash Wednesday Over Valentine’s Day
General Lenten Points of Emphasis
Lent 2023: A Necessary Time
Lent 2022: Solidarity With Ukraine
The Lenten Road
The Journey of Lent
The Real Purpose of Lent

Leave a Reply