In Ash Wednesday’s Gospel, Jesus refers to the three traditional Lenten practices which are prayer, fasting and almsgiving.(Mt 6:1-6, 16-18) In that context He tells us not to act like the hypocrites who perform these practices for people to see.
Hypocrisy was a major issue for Jesus. He saw it in some of the Scribes and Pharisees. They pretended to be holy, but they weren’t. They told people what to do, but they didn’t do it themselves.
I hate to admit it, but sometimes I’m a hypocrite too.
Recently I gave a homily about loving our enemies. But the truth is that I tend to demonize people I don’t agree with…people I see as the enemy...including some church and government officials. So I tell people to love their enemy, but I don’t do it myself. That makes me a hypocrite. I need to go to confession!