In today’s Gospel reading from Luke 14, Jesus is dining at the home of a leading Pharisee and notices how everyone is posturing for a position of honor. So He tells them a parable.
He advises them not to go after places of honor lest they be embarrassed. He tells them to “go and take the lowest place.” Then 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. I think someone once put it like this: God loves a cheerful giver.
Father, may we give with a generous heart, expecting nothing in return. Increase our love. Amen.