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Monday, November 3, 1997

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St. Martin de Porres

Romans 11:29-36
Psalm 69:30-37
Luke 14:12-14

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a christianity that doesn't pay

"No, when you have a reception, invite beggars and the crippled, the lame and the blind. You should be pleased that they cannot repay you." —Luke 14:13-14

How many begging, crippled, lame, or blind people have you had over for supper lately? Most people would probably answer: very few or none. Most Christians in the Western culture don't take Jesus' command literally. However, considering the historical and Biblical context of this passage, it is very likely meant to be taken literally.

Why does Jesus want us to eat with the poor and handicapped? It is not because they are so needy but because they are not able to repay us (Lk 14:14). The Lord calls us to look for situations in which we won't, or better yet, can't be repaid. As far as the Lord is concerned, thankless jobs are the best because we won't be repaid. Moreover, secret or obscure works are ideal, for no one but your Father knows about them (Mt 6:3-4, 6, 18). Thus, no one but your Father is in a position to repay you. Although we must often go public for Jesus to be His witnesses, there is a danger in this because we might be appreciated and rewarded. We must try as best we can to hide our life "with Christ in God" (Col 3:3). This guards against the temptation to live and work for payment rather than for pure love. Therefore, look around for situations that don't pay.

Prayer:  Father, may I want nothing but to give all my love to You.

Promise:  "How deep are the riches and the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How inscrutable His judgments, how unsearchable His ways!" —Rm 11:33

Praise:  Martin persevered in his ministry as a caretaker and janitor in the monastery, all the while performing many healings and miracles.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, March 22, 1997

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 26, 1997