Matthew 6:4

That your alms may be in secret: and your Father who sees in secret himself shall reward you openly.
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
Serm. in Mont., ii, 2: Above the Lord had spoken of righteousness in general. He now pursues it through its different parts. Thus what He says, “Do not sound a trumpet before thee,” refers to what He had said above, “Take heed that ye do not your righteousness before men.”. Serm. in Mont., ii, 2: And such sinners receive from God the Searcher of hearts none other reward than punishment of their deceitfulness; “Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.”. This refers to what He had said above, “Otherwise ye shall have no reward of your Father which is in heaven;” and He goes on to show them that they should not do their alms as the hypocrites, but teaches them how they should do them. But according to this interpretation, it will be no fault to have a respect top leasing the faithful; and yet we are forbidden to propose as the end of any good work the pleasing of any kind of men. Yet if you would have men to imitate your actions which may be pleasing to them, they must be done befor...

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
That your alms may be in secret. What else is meant by in secret, but just in a good conscience, which cannot be shown to human eyes, nor revealed by words? Since, indeed, the mass of men tell many lies. And therefore, if the right hand acts inwardly in secret, all outward things, which are visible and temporal, belong to the left hand. Let your alms, therefore, be in your own consciousness, where many do alms by their good intention, even if they have no money or anything else which is to be bestowed on one who is needy. But many give alms outwardly, and not inwardly, who either from ambition, or for the sake of some temporal object, wish to appear merciful, in whom the left hand only is to be reckoned as working. Others again hold, as it were, a middle place between the two; so that, with a design which is directed Godward, they do their alms, and yet there insinuates itself into this excellent wish also some desire after praise, or after a perishable and temporal object of some sort...

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
A hypocrite is one who pretends to be something one is not. This person pretends to be righteous yet shows no evidence of righteousness. All attention is focused on how one is being perceived or praised by others. Even pretenders may receive this praise precisely while they are deceiving those to whom they seem to be good. But they receive no reward from God the searcher of the heart—only reproach for their deceit. They may have a human reward, but from God they hear, “Depart from me, you workers of deceit. You may speak my name, but you do not do my works.” So you receive your reward with others, you have received the glory of others—so what? If you do good for the express purpose of having human glory, what good have you? The praise of others need not even be sought by one who acts rightly. We ought to follow one who acts rightly, profiting by imitating what we praise. . ...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
This repaying or rewarding of good works, so often mentioned here by Jesus Christ, clearly evinces that good works are meritorious, and that we may do them with a view to a reward, as David did, propter retributionem. (Haydock)
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Glossa Ordinaria

AD 1480
Non occ.: In the words, “in the streets and villages,” he marks the public places which they selected; and in those, “that they may receive honour ofmen,” he marks their motive.
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Gregory The Dialogist

AD 604
Mor., xxxi, 13: It should be known, that there are some who wear the dress of sanctity, and are not able to work out the merit of perfection, yet who must inno wise be numbered among the hypocrites, because it is one thing to sin from weakness, another from crafty affectation.
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AD 420
He who sounds a trumpet before him when he does alms is a hypocrite. Whence headds, “as the hypocrites do.”Isid., Etym. x. ex Aug. Serm.: The name ‘hypocrite’ is derived from the appearance of those who in the shows are disguised in masks, variously coloured according to the character they represent, sometimes male, sometimes female, to impose on the spectators while they act in the games. A reward not of God, but of themselves, for they receive praise of men, for the sake of which it was that they practised their virtues. ...
< 1 min7/10

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Hom. xv: He opposes three chief virtues, alms, prayer, and fasting, to three evil things against which the Lord undertook the war of temptation. For He fought for us in the wilderness against gluttony; against covetousness on the mount; against false glory on the temple. It is alms that scatter abroad against covetousness which heaps up; fasting against gluttony which is its contrary; prayer against false glory, seeing that all other evil things come out of evil, this alone comes out of good; and therefore it is not overthrown but rather nourished of good, and has no remedy that may avail against it but prayer only.Ambrosiaster, Comm. in Tim. 4, 8: The sum of all Christian discipline is comprehended in mercy and piety, for which reason He begins with almsgiving. The trumpet stands for every act or word that tends to a display of our works; for instance, to do alms if we know that some other person is looking on, or at the request of another, or to a person of such condition that he may...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Setting for him a great and august assemblage of spectators, and what He desires, that very thing bestowing on him in great abundance. For what, says He, do you wish? Is it not to have some to be spectators of what is going on? Behold then, you have some; not angels, nor archangels, but the God of all. And if you desire to have men also as spectators, neither of this desire does He deprive you at the fitting season, but rather in greater abundance affords it unto you. For, if you should now make a display, you will be able to make it to ten only, or twenty, or (we will say) a hundred persons: but if you take pains to lie hidden now, God Himself will then proclaim you in the presence of the whole universe. Wherefore above all, if you will have men see your good deeds, hide them now, that then all may look on them with the more honor, God making them manifest, and extolling them, and proclaiming them before all. Again, whereas now they that behold will rather condemn you as vainglorious;...

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
When will He reward you? When all things are revealed clearly and openly, and then you will be not merely rewarded, but glorified.
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Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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