On a sabbath Jesus went to dine
at the home of one of the leading Pharisees.
He said to the host who invited him,
“When you hold a lunch or a dinner,
do not invite your friends or your brothers or sisters
or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors,
in case they may invite you back and you have repayment.
Rather, when you hold a banquet,
invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind;
blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you.
For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” (Lk 14:12-14)
We all look for reward.
That appears to be a part of our very essence.
From the time we are very young, we do things in order to be recognized and, possibly, even rewarded.
If there is no recognition or reward in something, people would rather not do it.
Jesus had the opportunity to confront this kind of thinking in today’s Gospel.
He reminded the person who had invited Him to dinner that it would be best to invite people who would have no possible way of returning the favor. It that were to be the case, God would be the one to reward the host.
Ah, but there is something we need to remember even about that lesson.
We must not help others in need who have no possibility of repaying us solely so that we can be rewarded by God. To do so would mean that we never even considered the plight of the person we are aiding.
Jesus wants us to look at the needy. He wants to know the needy. He wants us to feel for the needy. Out of our compassion and love, He wants us to help the needy.
When we do that, we will most definitely be blessed by God.
The needy are all around us.
See them today, get to know them, feel their desperation, and respond to their need.
FAITH ACTION: Help someone today who cannot possibly return the favor. Do it because you truly desire to help that person in his or her need.