There's a thread that runs through today's readings: humility. In the first reading from Philippians 2, St. Paul says, "Humbly regard others as more important than yourselves." In today’s Gospel reading from Luke 14, Jesus is dining at the home of a leading Pharisee.
He tells His host not to invite mucky-mucks to his banquet, because they may invite you back as 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.”
So often we live our lives in a quid pro quo fashion. We do things for others and carry a chit in our pocket, knowing there may come a time when we can cash it in. Our payback awaits. Jesus has another idea. Do things out of love. Expect nothing in return. When we do that, it frees us from possible resentment and anger. We may not get our payback now, but we will in the end.
Father, help us to stop doing for others expecting something in return. Give us hearts of true humility and a generous spirit. Amen.