Jesus reaffirms three traditional works of mercy honored by Jews (Tob 12:8-10): almsgiving, prayer, and fasting. These three are the cardinal works of expressing our interior penance which express conversion in relation to oneself, to God, and to others, directing them to the "Father who sees in secret," instead of the desire to "be seen by men." CCC 1434,1969
Dishonesty of intention is grave, sinful and ridiculous if happening in actions such as prayer, fasting or alms, as these are pious and charitable deeds, that per se, we carry out for the love of God.
How could we please God if we are trying to be seen in order to be praised by others instead of directly addressing our good deeds to God? A coherent testimony of our piety, if seen by others, is acceptable since the exercise of one's faith can be public, so long as it flows from proper intentions. (Mt 5:16)
In community, if we are preoccupied on how others perceive our spirituality instead of focusing on Jesus, we only produce vanity in our lives. To shun performance oriented desires, we must be evangelized deeply in the knowledge of God and absorb His Word in our hearts with authenticity. Otherwise if "we are not on guard while the promise of entering into his rest remains," we will not enter into His rest. (Heb 4;1-5,11-13) Sin separates us from God and community but only Jesus will bring us back to God and community.
It is not about us but about Jesus in our hearts. The Lord gives us His Holy Spirit to enlighten our minds that we may grow in His truth and in the knowledge of His great love for each of us. If we approach God's Word submissively, we are in a better position to learn what God wants to teach us through His Word.
Let us reflect on our inner purity, not just external compliance. Pleasing God must be through ways that stem from sincere motives. True piety is something more than feeling good or looking holy. True piety is loving devotion to God. It is an attitude of awe, reverence, worship and obedience. It is a gift and working of the Holy Spirit that enables us to devote our lives to God with a holy desire to please him in all things (Is 11:1-2). We must seek Him expectantly in prayer, with fasting, and in generous giving to those in need.