New American Bible (Revised Edition)
Teaching About Almsgiving.[a] 1 “[But] take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them;(A) otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father. 2 When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites[b] do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.(B) 3 But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, 4 so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.
Teaching About Prayer. 5 “When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6 But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.Read full chapter
- 6:1–18 The sermon continues with a warning against doing good in order to be seen and gives three examples, almsgiving (Mt 6:2–4), prayer (Mt 6:5–15), and fasting (Mt 6:16–18). In each, the conduct of the hypocrites (Mt 6:2) is contrasted with that demanded of the disciples. The sayings about reward found here and elsewhere (Mt 5:12, 46; 10:41–42) show that this is a genuine element of Christian moral exhortation. Possibly to underline the difference between the Christian idea of reward and that of the hypocrites, the evangelist uses two different Greek verbs to express the rewarding of the disciples and that of the hypocrites; in the latter case it is the verb apechō, a commercial term for giving a receipt for what has been paid in full (Mt 6:2, 5, 16).
- 6:2 The hypocrites: the scribes and Pharisees, see Mt 23:13, 15, 23, 25, 27, 29. The designation reflects an attitude resulting not only from the controversies at the time of Jesus’ ministry but from the opposition between Pharisaic Judaism and the church of Matthew. They have received their reward: they desire praise and have received what they were looking for.