At the heart of Ignatian spirituality is a personal relationship with God. In today’s Gospel, Jesus addresses his disciples, telling them what this relationship entails. Often we expect something in return for our good deeds, for our faith commitment. Yet, Jesus critiques this sort of thinking, characteristic of the Pharisees in his time who considered their fulfillment of the law as a guarantee of their eternal reward. Jesus reminds us that our discipleship is not a matter of seeking rewards or returns for our good deeds; rather, it is one of deep love and humble, selfless service.
Do I expect certain “returns” in my relationship with God? Or is God’s love and grace enough for me?
—Matt Ippel, SJ, is a Jesuit scholastic in the Midwest Province studying philosophy at the Universidad Antonio Ruiz de Montoya in Lima, Peru.