In Paul’s Letter to the Philippians (2:3-4) we read, “Do nothing out of selfishness or 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.”
This is echoed in today’s Gospel (LK 14:12-14), where we hear of Jesus’ instructions to a certain religious leader regarding who should be invited to a dinner party. Oftentimes, people would invite dignitaries, wealthy, and well-respected people to a banquet, so that these well-to-do folks would someday return the invitation. It was all about quid-pro-quo, “I’ll scratch your back now, and you can scratch mine in the future.”
Jesus teaches us that it is better not to do good to others simply to receive something in return; rather, invite those, and give to those, who cannot repay you and have nothing to offer in return. True giving doesn’t look toward what it will get, because true love seeks only to give itself for the good of the other. Love doesn’t look for a kickback. Love isn’t an investment seeking a return. Love is the giving of self, without concern for the cost. Let us take time today to look at our relationships, and then recommit to authentically giving and loving as Christ teaches us.