We live in a fast-paced, hyper-connected culture that praises being noticed and keeping score. Reality shows abound. But what reality do they represent?

Jesus invites us into a deeper reality that we are created by God, who loves and cares for us. A reality in which God sends us into the world as agents of his love, as builders of the Kingdom.

In his “Meditation on the Two Standards” from the Spiritual Exercises, Saint Ignatius makes clear that all disciples have to choose whether they will stand with Jesus or with the world. Standing with Jesus means recognizing life and all that we have as a gift from God. It means being so grateful that we can’t help but give back through love and service.

As we go through this day, how might we show our gratitude by giving without counting the cost?

—Jeremy Langford is the director of communications for the Midwest Jesuits and author of  Seeds of Faith: Practices to Grow a Healthy Spiritual Life ©2007 Paraclete Press, Brewster, MA.