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Give Without Expecting Anything in Return – Weekday Homily Video

Give Without Expecting Anything in Return – Weekday Homily Video

Love thy Neighbor

There was this pastor at a particular parish who was having difficulty with his assigned parking space in the church parking lot. People parked in his spot whenever they pleased, even though there was a sign that clearly said, "This space is reserved."

A Sign of Impact

He thought the sign needed to be more explicit, so he had a different sign made, which read, "Reserved for Pastor Only."

Still, people ignored it and parked in his space whenever they felt like it. "Maybe the sign should be more forceful," he thought. So, he devised a more intimidating one, which announced something in line with the Ten Commandments, "Thou shalt not park here." That sign didn't make any difference either, just like the commandments.

Finally, he hit upon the words that worked. The sign read, "The one who parks here preaches the sermon on Sunday morning!"

After that sign was displayed, nobody took the space reserved for this pastor, maybe because they were afraid to preach the sermon on a Sunday morning. Or, probably, they felt uncomfortable about doing that because of the lack of experience and training.

A Ministry of Hospitality

But what, then, is your ministry? The Gospel reading selected for today sets before us a vision of a shared ministry that all of us can be a part of and afford to do. I call it a ministry of hospitality.

Jesus invites us to be incredibly welcoming to the unfortunate, like the poor, the disabled, the lame, the blind and others of this world through giving without expecting any return. For it is only by giving freely that one grows as a person. It is because giving demands a measure of self-sacrifice. It doesn't impoverish but rather enriches the soul of the giver. Giving springs from a heart full of mercy and compassion. God loved us first, and our love is a response of gratitude to his great mercy and kindness towards us. We cannot outgive God in his generosity towards us. This is true generosity, and generosity is hospitality. It is because generosity and hospitality go hand-in-hand. One cannot separate from the other.

Genuine, Undeserved, Friendship

When we are hospitable, we are compassionate. When we lack compassion, we do not see others where they are hurt. We are to be gentle and compassionate. If we are not mutually forgiving, we lack the essential compassion to invite others in and show them genuine, undeserved friendship, for God loved us while we were still sinners.

There is a saying that goes, "Don't meet their gaze when giving." When you give something to someone, it's sometimes best not to make direct eye contact, as looking into the recipient's eyes might reveal their discomfort or embarrassment, or it might make you feel overly proud or self-satisfied. The Lord invites us today to be generous and hospitable.

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About Father Boby John, C.S.C.

Father Boby John, C.S.C., ordained a priest in the Congregation of Holy Cross in 2008, worked as a pastor and as an educator with tribal populations in Northeast India for thirteen years. Originally from Kerala, India, Father Boby grew up with three siblings. He is a dedicated and detailed educationist with experience in educational leadership. He is currently working as an executive assistant at the world headquarters of Holy Cross Family Ministries, North Easton, Massachusetts.