OPEN OUR EYES, LORD, THAT WE CONSIDER THE WONDERS OF YOUR LAW
(MONDAY, NOVEMBER 04
The Memorial of St. Charles Borromeo, Bishop)
St. Paul tells the Romans that since they have experienced God’s mercy in them, they are called to be witnesses of God’s mercy to others so that in turn, they also receive God’s mercy. That was Paul’s profound personal experience. He had persecuted God’s people, he had sinned deeply but he received God’s mercy as an amazing gift and at the same time God’s call, his mission, which in Paul’s experience came together.
In today’s Gospel Jesus gave His observation and teachings on doing good works through the parable of the lunch or dinner invitation.
The practice was to invite those who are capable of inviting us back. Not for Jesus. Here, He took the opportunity to tell them to invite those who had no capacity to pay back instead. Service to the neighbour should not be driven by what we will get in return but by helping ease the burden of our neighbour. Much more, be letting God respond to our graciousness. As we know, God cannot be outdone in generosity.
To achieve Jesus’ teaching, we ought to come from the position of gratitude. Our act of helping our neighbour is more an effect than a cause or gratitude than assistance. God gave us everything we have. We owe everything to Him. When we use them to help our neighbour, we are merely fulfilling the task of the gift we received. Inspired by being graced, we share that grace to others. If there are expressions of gratitude for what we had done, whether in words, deeds, or material things, we humbly accept them. But they are not necessary for us to help.
Our actions are expressions of our thanksgiving. In that case, we do not expect anything in return.
Just be aware that pride does not form part of our unconditional act. Appearing as you had served unselfishly may attract adulations and recognitions. It can at times be intoxicating and inebriating. When we are lifted up, we may want to stay up and aspire for more.
It is similar to the Transfiguration experience of Peter, James, and John. They suggested to Jesus for them to just stay on the mountain thus abandoning their homes, families, land, and livelihood.
Finally, do not be afraid that your efforts of goodness will be without value. God sees everything we do. We may not have the recognition we prefer in this lifetime, it will certainly be rewarded in the “resurrection of the just.”
Let Us Pray: Lord Jesus, help me to be a witness of your mercy in the world. May your grace help me to be good and to teach others to be good. Amen.