But you, when you fast, anoint your head, and wash your face;
All Commentaries on Matthew 6:17 Go To Matthew 6
Theophylact of Ochrid
Men of old would anoint themselves with oil after bathing as a mark of their joy and well-being. So you also, O reader, should appear joyful when you fast. The oil used to anoint we also understand to mean almsgiving. Our Head is Christ, Which we should anoint with deeds of mercy; and our face, that is our senses, we should wash with tears of repentance.