31st Week of the Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Phil 2:1-4
Brothers and sisters: If there is any encouragement in Christ, any solace in love, any participation in the Spirit, any compassion and mercy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, with the same love, united in heart, thinking one thing. Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests, but also everyone for those of others.
Gospel: Lk 14:12-14
On a sabbath Jesus went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees. He said to the host who invited him, “When you hold a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or sisters or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors, in case they may invite you back and you have repayment. Rather, 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.”
DETACHED LOVE: Paul advises in the first reading today to do nothing out of selfishness. He wants us to humbly regard others as more important than ourselves and look for the interests of others. Jesus in the gospel tells how his followers should have love with no strings attached. Our detachment from what others might offer us back is evident if we were to invite for a banquet those people who are not capable of giving us a treat in return. Our attention should evidently be on the poor and needy. How detached is our service? Does our charity go only to those who give us back in praise and recognition? Sharing our goods for the mere reason of love of the neighbor is an indispensable duty of any Christian. Are we really on the lookout for the good of others? No person – whether Christian or non-Christian – can be outside our love and concern.
Prayer: Lord, teach us to love everyone as you love.