Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Cup of water

Jesus said "whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me". In another situation He said "a cup of water given to the other in my name will not go unrewarded".

My doing and giving should be independent of what I intend receive from that act. 

Every good deed done is duly acknowledged by God. But better is when I render a good deed to the other, purely because he or she belongs to Christ, just as I'm one.

I may do a good deed for the kick it offers. A good yard stick to gauge my motive is to check on my response when a deed is misunderstood and reciprocated with total ingratitude. Irritation is easy to come by if my intention is not independent of the feel good it offers.

The expression "give happily" assumes new meaning in this context. My happiness and consolation is not to be derived directly from what I have done but purely from the joy of having served Christ in my neighbor. This is probably why Mother Teresa said give/love until it hurts. It "hurts" because the act does not offer me an emotional settlement.

A virtuous act that leaves me unsettled is probably better acknowledged before God than the one that leaves me with a sense of achievement and content. How laudable it is when I can joyfully continue to do good despite the emotional settlement the "doing" offers me and instead hope in Jesus to be rewarded in time what is my due.

What really matters is the joyful giving, not the joy of giving