Gospel: Lk 14:12-14
Jesus also addressed the man who had invited him, and said, “When you give a lunch or a dinner, don‘t invite your friends, or your brothers and relatives, or your wealthy neighbors. For surely they will also invite you in return, and you will be repaid. When you give a feast, invite instead the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind. Fortunate are you then, because they cannot repay you. You will be repaid at the resurrection of the upright.“
One time at LCC mall I bought some personal needs. At the cashier, behind me was a young boy. He was holding a tube of toothpaste and small bar of soap. He kept on counting his coins and looked at the tag of the items. After the cashier registered all my items, I told her to include the items of the boy and I will pay for it. The boy looked at me surprisingly, and thanked me. Driving back to the rectory, I kept on thinking of the boy whose face was shining with joy. The following day, a balikbayan box arrived from California containing toiletries and other items. I said to myself, God repaid me immediately. A seminarian gave me a t-shirt. I was so touched by the gesture. I treasured it. I kept it at the bottom of my folded shirts, so it will always remain new. One rainy day, a trusted seminarian passed by the parish rectory. He was wet but has no extra shirt. I told him to get a shirt in my closet and change. Coming back to my office, he was wearing the shirt I treasured. Though feeling something, I let it go. A few days later, a parishioner brought a gift. To my surprise, it was a pack of three shirts, same color, same brand and size of the shirt the seminarian got from my closet. My heart simply shouted: Wow! My God you did it again?
Every time I remember these incidents, I feel deep joy in my heart. “Fortunate are you…You will be repaid at the resurrection of the upright.“ Truly, the Lord is risen and alive. What an experience of JOY!