Memorial of Saint Charles Borromeo, bishop
Luke 14: 12-14
Oh God, thank you for allowing me to
come into your presence. Your love enlarges my soul. I long to see your face! I come to this prayer
with a thirst to just be in your presence, relax under your loving gaze. May my presence here be an
expression of my love for you.
Lord, grant me the grace to put your interests before
1. You Scratch My Back And I'll scratch
Unique is the individual who doesn't keep at least one eye on his own self-interest at all
times. For many, life is about leverage, and good deeds are investments that will reap future
profits. In this parable, Jesus invites us to think outside that human box and more in the divine
one. God derives no personal benefits through showing us immeasurable love. We can't, after all,
give him anything that he doesn't already have. Maybe we should be expanding our list of dinner
2. The Poor, the Crippled, the Lame, the
Blessed Mother Teresa lived this Gospel verse in exemplary fashion. The story is told of a
dying man, found lying in the street and brought to the Missionaries of Charity's House of the
Dying. They gave him dignity that he had never known: I have lived like a dog all my life. But now I
will die like an angel. Sometimes we also have opportunities to help others in dire need. Sometimes,
more often, we can come to the aid of the person who is spiritually poor or crippled. Perhaps it is
that person who is always in a foul mood, or that other who once spread a rumor about me. Blessed
will you be because of their inability to repay you.
3. Self-interest vs.
Fr. Joe always used to say this about his priesthood: The pay is lousy, but the retirement
benefits are out of this world. Self-interest is about getting the positive payback here and now.
True love and charity do not keep a score card to make sure that it's worth it. No, we are living
for eternity. Let's ask the Lord to give us a better sense of the big picture, to see that those
unrequited good deeds are the best ones. So you parents of the world, take heart! Your sacrifices
will indeed find their reward, in the resurrection of the righteous.
Conversation with Christ:
Dear Lord, how often I am
What's in it for me? Help me to reach out to others
beyond the limits
of my group.
Help me to see that you are in every soul,
not just the ones
that in some way gratify me.
I will do an act of charity for
someone who doesn't like me.