Throughout the Gospels, Jesus calls us to invite the needy to our banquet tables. His messages aren't to discourage us from welcoming friends, family and wealthy neighbors, but to instead bear in mind our intentions. It’s against human nature to give lavishly without looking for repayment, but Jesus insists that we give without expectation. How do we do that?
Perhaps we can start by practicing generosity toward those with no means of reciprocation. Consider the young lady in prison without loved ones to send money for an occasional luxury such as a soda or bag of chips from the vending machine; the retired nun on a small income, standing in the grocery checkout line; a father of five, longing to take all of his children to a ballgame, but can’t afford even one ticket; the poor beggar with nothing but his clothes and unassuming nature. We may find it’s easier to give without the prospect of receiving when we give to such persons.
But something wonderful happens to us when we give of ourselves to the least of these. Jesus rewards us by bringing joy to our hearts and suddenly we become the needy ones; constantly looking for opportunities to encourage, until giving becomes a beautiful habit. Jesus’ gifts also begin to increase, as we find ourselves offering our support to the poor and affluent alike, with no expectation of receiving. Ultimately, we find ourselves longing to be like Him in love, and sharing that love with everyone.
So, as we enter this beautiful season of giving, let us be generous with all our brothers and sisters and recognize that our repayment comes from God alone. Our most precious reimbursement . . . His amazing grace.