In the Gospel of Matthew this morning, Jesus is laying out some very practical advice to his disciples about what is important in responding to the Good News. The main point that he is making is that what we do needs to reflect who we are and what we believe. What we do needs to reflect the heart. And what we do does not need a PR person to let the world know that this is who I am. Rather, we simply walk the walk, live the truth, follow the example given.
But in the giving of the example of how we should live, Jesus also gives us the key elements that go into living a religious life, of being a person of faith. True religion is marked by prayer, fasting and love or alms giving. If these three actions are at the center of our character as people of faith, then we are on the right track. And if we perform them for the sake of the gospel rather than to be seen or noticed, then we find blessing in our lives.
Good advice. But remember, this does not mean that the practice of religion is a private, personal matter only. We are called into community, and community gives witness as well. It is not either/or but both/and. Let us be about the good practice of religion.