Monday, November 4, 2019
Monday of the Thirty-First Week in Ordinary Time
“…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.” Luke 14:13-14
Too often in life we fall into the trap of working for immediate rewards. If we do well, we want to be noticed, thanked and repaid. But this exhortation from Jesus reveals that our lives of service should be lived in such a way that we expect no repayment here and now. Rather, we should anticipate our reward in Heaven.
This mission from our Lord can be hard to actually live. It requires great selflessness and concern about the other without expecting anything in return. But when we understand this spiritual principle, we will realize that “payment” is not only awaiting us in Heaven, it is also received through our act of selflessness here and now.
The “payment” we receive here and now for acts of selfless service of others is holiness of life. We achieve holiness of life when we seek to bestow mercy upon others. Mercy is an act of love given to one in need without any selfish motivation. It’s not something done on the condition that you receive something back. Mercy is offered as love of another for the good of the other and for no other reason. But the good news is that true mercy has an effect upon the one who offers it in a profound way. By showing selfless mercy to another, we imitate our merciful God and become more like Him. This is a greater reward than we could ever receive from another.
Reflect, today, upon how willing you are to be merciful to others in need. Are you willing to give without expectation of repayment from them? If so, you will find far greater blessing in this selfless act than in anything else for which you obtain worldly recognition.
Lord, give me a heart that is full of mercy and compassion for all those in need. May I daily seek to serve them without any expectation of reward. May these acts of mercy be reward enough and become a source and foundation of my holiness of life. Jesus I trust in You.
Saint of the Day – Saint Charles Borromeo, Bishop