Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path. (Psalm 119)
Matthew 10:7-13 & Matthew 5:38 – 42
We are constantly aware of payments – made, owed or owing – in our fast-paced and virtual world. This is true not only for monetary payments, but also for ‘payments’ of the heart. These days social media is especially infamous for ‘payments’ of terse responses and ‘taking a pound of flesh’, that stem from bitterness, resentment, or paying out what another person ‘deserves’. In Inuktitut there is a maxim for this: akirkatautikqariaqangituq, roughly translated as ‘don’t keep on trying to get proper payment or to pay back hard feelings’. I find this a helpful reminder of the freedom of heart taught by the Inuit elders of our family. Just as transactions for goods and services can still be carried out with a generous heart and a smile, so can transactions of soul be carried out without exacting a price. When I am free to give anything freely – time, talent, treasure or compassion – without expecting payment in return for a deed well done, not even a thank you, recognition, or kindness in return, or without expecting to ‘pay back’ hurtful actions – then I am free indeed. Jesus’ teachings in the Sermon on the Mount were all designed to free us from the consequences of sinful human behavior, and to give us abundant life as we follow him. Will I take to heart his counsel to his disciples: You have received without payment; Give without payment Holy Spirit of Jesus help me give without payment.
For you bless the righteous, O Lord; you cover them with favour as with a shiled. (Psalm 5:12)
Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.
Saint Mother Teresa of Kalcutta
Soli ad gloriam
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Beverly Illauq lives in Kemptville, Ontario, where she greets each morning by seeking the Gospel Mystery of the Day - the Word of the Lord for direct and practical application to the specific challenges & joys of the day.