terms of repayment
"You should be pleased that they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid in the resurrection of the just." —Luke 14:14
Jesus is not against our being repaid for the good we do. His concern is when we will be repaid and by whom. God the Father plans to personally repay us at our resurrection (Lk 14:14). Upon reading this, we might feel like God has paid for our service by using a layaway plan! Will our payment ever come? In His love, God does repay us to a certain extent during our time on earth. He begins His eternal repayment plan a bit early by "depositing the First Payment, the [Holy] Spirit, in our hearts" (2 Cor 1:22).
Once we receive the Holy Spirit, we serve Him with such devotion and power that the world opposes us. Next comes our second payment on earth. St. Teresa of Avila once remarked to God: "How true it is that whoever works for You is paid in troubles! And what a precious price to those who love You if we understand its value." To read the fine print on the terms of this second payment, read Sirach 2:1, 2 Timothy 3:12, and James 1:2-4.
As always, the Lord wants to purify our motives for serving Him. If we serve Him to be repaid in the currency of this world, we should "expect no recompense from" the Father (Mt 6:1).
"Who has given a gift to Him that he might be repaid?" (Rm 11:35, RSV-CE) God does not owe us anything. Yet no one can outgive God. "Do not, then, surrender your confidence [in God]; it will have great reward" (Heb 10:35). "Look out that you yourselves do not lose what you have worked for; you must receive your reward in full" (2 Jn 8).
Prayer: Father, may I serve You not for hope of repayment, but simply because I love You with all my heart.
Promise: "The Lord hears the poor." Ps 69:34
Praise: St. Charles had a hand in the reform of the whole Church during the final years of the Council of Trent.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 11, 2019
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