How to obey Matthew 6:16-18?


I don’t know how to interpret Matthew 6: 16-18 "16

“And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you"

What does that mean? i normally fast when i’m alone at home… otherwise the people who live with me will ask me “why aren’t you having lunch” and i wouldn’t know how to answer that question… on the one hand, Jesus told us that our fasting shouldn’t be seen by others… so i shouldn’t tell my family that i’m not having lunch or breakfast or dinner because i’m fasting… but what am i supposed to tell them? should i lie? should i say “i’m not hungry” to me this is confusing… Tomorrow i would like to fast, however tomorrow i’m not alone at home… what am i supposed to say whenever they tell me “dinner is ready” they are going to expect me to go to the dinning room and have dinner with them… Should i say “i’m not hungry”? if i say that i would be lying and furthermore they will suspect that i’m fasting because the Pope told us to do it … or should i say “i want to have my dinner in my bedroom” and then save it for Sunday?

Thank you for your time.
God bless you


What Jesus was saying is that we aren't to do these things in order to be praised by others. This does not mean that you can't simply tell your roommates, "Thanks, but I'm fasting for this meal. I'll eat another time." That's all you have to say. You wouldn't be making a big issue out of it or wanting them to praise you for it. All you want is to be able to fast in peace, yes? So, that's all you have to say if they ask. :)


I think what Jesus meant was that we are not to blow a trumpet over our fasting and charitable works, to do it for attention.

In a family, if the husband is fasting, he will need to communicate that to his wife so that she doesn’t make too much food or have anything go to waste. That’s fine to do that. That, in no way, undoes the good of the fast.


Christ wants us to be humble about our fasting. If someone asks just tell them and all will be fine just don’t make a big deal out of it.


I just say to my family that today is a day of fasting and prayer. No further comment is ever necessary.


I think back in that time, making yourself look really shabby and make it obvious that you're fasting was the thing to do to get more praise. I think it's OK to let others know you're fasting as long as you don't go out of your way to make yourself look pitiful. I think what Jesus was saying was conduct yourself as you normally would.


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