Jesus said, “When you hold a lunch or a dinner, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you.
For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
If you are rich and famous, God promises to pick up the tab if you include societies’ bottom crust. However, if you invite the poor as a token act of condescension you forfeit your reward. Why? God views societies’ hopeless with a long-range lens. He sees us as future son’s and daughter’s seated around the kingdom table.
Do you see yourself as one of the desperate ones? I hope so. King David asks the lowly ones to be glad because those who are in bonds, God does not turn away (cf. Psalm 69).
The gift of mercy is to see yourself as poor, crippled and hopeless.
Do you think you said no to the poor of society one too many times? Paul tells the Roman Christians, “The gift and call of God are irrevocable…For God delivered all of us to disobedience so that God might have mercy on all.”
God never gives up on us.
Pope Francis tells the story of a young man who said, “If you knew my life you wouldn’t talk to me like that! I have done some terrible things!” This was Francis’s reply: “Even better! Go to Jesus: he likes to hear about these things. He forgets, he has a special knack for forgetting. He forgets, he kisses you, he embraces you, and he says: ‘Neither do I condemn you. Go, [and] from now on do not sin any more.’ That is the only advice he gives. If things haven’t changed in a month…we go back to the Lord. The Lord never tires of forgiving: never!” (Pope Francis. “The Name of God Is Mercy” )