When people are asked to do something, the first thing that goes into our minds is “What is it in for me?” Even the apostles were not exempted from this reality. Peter once asked Jesus, “We have left family, lands, and houses for the Gospel, what do we get back in return?” The answer must have excited Peter and the apostles, “They will receive one hundredfold in this life and in the life to come.” What a great investment. When one investment gives us 10% nowadays, we think that is great but the Gospel today gives us another great, great investment – “A good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap.” How do I invest? The Gospel tells us, “Invest in Relationships.”
The Gospel gives us directions:
- See the best in people. It is so easy to see what is not right in people. It is so easy to judge them even if we do not know the whole story. It is so easy to condemn them without second chances. Yet, as we have our own imperfections, sins, mistakes, scandals, and as we do not want to be judged and condemned, then we should we try to see the best in people as we might wish that they see the best in us.
- Forgiveness. Show me a couple that has been together for 25, 50 years or best friends that have endured the test of time. These people have one common characteristic – they know how to forgive. This is not a perfect world, circumstances are not perfect, we have our sins, mistakes are errors, hence how can we not forgive?
- Generosity. In this life, we reap what we sow. If we are stingy, we do not leave space for blessings to come in. If we know how to share, there will always be space for blessings to come in. How easy is it to love a person who is giving – time, talent, treasure and of oneself.
In the Mass, we remember that people need people. We thank God for all the people he has blessed us in this life. In the end, what really matters is how much we have loved and how much we have been loved. Hence, may we see the good in people, forgive and be generous with others.