Expect nothing in return

Albert Einstein once wrote “Strange is our situation here upon earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to a divine purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we know, that we are here for the sake of others. Many times a day, I realize how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received.”

Jesus tells his apostles and us, very bluntly, that we can never put God in our debt or make the claim that God owes us something. We are God’s servants, just as Jesus came “not to be served, but to serve.” Service of God and of neighbor is both a voluntary act and a sacred duty. God expects us to give him the worship and praise which He is due. What makes our offering pleasing to God is the love we express in the gift of self-giving. Jesus tells us that simply doing what is required gives you no claim on God’s generosity. Doing what is required and doing it competently are certainly important but it is only a start.Gratitude that is expected or that must be asked for is not really gratitude.  When you expect nothing in return you will never be disappointed.

There is tremendous freedom when we expect nothing.  Because we expect nothing, we do what we do for the right motive, because it is simply the right thing to do, rather than acting like beggars looking for a handout.

I once read that perfect generosity was when the giver didn’t know who was receiving and the receiver didn’t know who was giving.  Then the giver does not burden the receiver with a debt of gratitude, and the receiver can see the ultimate giver—who is God.

We are called to give praise and honor to God every day for all that He has given us. We owe him everything; He owes us nothing, because He has already given us everything.

Deacon Chuck

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: http://deaconscorner.org. Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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