In today’s Gospel reading from Luke 14, Jesus goes to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees. While there, He tells a parable in which He exhorts the people not to gravitate towards the places of honor at table. He finishes with the phrase, “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, the the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Jesus then addresses the host, telling him that when he holds a lunch or dinner, “do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors, in case they may invite you back and you have repayment.” He encourages him to invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; because of their inability to repay you. “For you will be repaid at the resurrection for the righteous.”
Jesus spoke again and again about those who pay more attention to earthly honors and goods. They have already received their reward. When we give, whether it is time, talent or treasure, we should never give expecting repayment. We must give of ourselves freely. Just as Jesus did. Our repayment is yet to come. But boy, will the final payoff ever be worth it!
Father, teach us to give freely of ourselves; never seeking repayment. We await our reward in heaven. Amen.