Hypocrisy – the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense.

We all wear masks. We all pretend to be somebody else we are not. We put on masks to protect our fragile self. We are afraid that if people knew the real person that we are, they might not love nor like us anymore. Sometimes, we are ashamed of who we are or we do not have the confidence that the person who we are is acceptable or good enough for others. We put on masks to protect ourselves. We may not even be aware of the masks we are wearing. An honest person knows and acknowledges the masks he wears. Knowing the masks we wear helps us to love unconditionally, to love another no matter who or what kind of person hides behind the mask.

Sometimes, we put on masks to fool or take advantage of others. When we use masks to deceive others, we get into or cause trouble. Pretending to be somebody we are not for personal advantage is not only selfish. It is a downright lie. And these are the hypocrites that Jesus rails against in His preaching. He likened them to white-washed sepulchers that look clean and beautiful on the outside but are full of rot and the bones of dead people inside.

Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
~ Psalm 112

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.
When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you,
as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets
to win the praise of others.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you give alms,
do not let your left hand know what your right is doing,
so that your almsgiving may be secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.”
Matthew 6:1-4

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