1 John 3:11-21 / John 1:43-51
It is said that "one good deed deserves another". So if someone does you a favour, you should take the chance to repay it.
And by the same token, if we do a good deed, then we can expect it in return. But is that really so?
Now if we do a good deed and we expect it to be returned, then we may disappointed when it is not returned.
And if every good deed is returned, then there won't be such a thing called ingratitude. We know what is ingratitude. We have even experienced ingratitude, and certainly that hurts.
So as much as "one good deed deserves another" sounds like a noble proverb, it may not always be the case, besides the fact that there are contradictions to it.
But when we reflect on our Christian spirituality, then we may realise that that we can't expect anything in return for doing good.
Because doing good is our duty, our obligation and our mission as Christians. To expect any returns for doing good will leave us disappointed and frustrated and we will get tired of doing good.
We must be contented with the fact that God sees the good that we are doing and He knows that we are doing it for His glory and not expecting rewards or returns.
But that is only one side of the coin. What if we do good and what we get in return is evil? It does not make sense to think that what we get for doing good is evil in return.
But we shouldn't be surprised by that. The 1st reading tells us that Cain cut his brother's throat simply for this reason - that his own life was evil and his brother lived a good life.
It goes on to say that we must not be surprised when the world hates us just because we live good lives and want to do good in this world.
So as it is, the Christian life is a difficult and challenging life to live. Without prayer, we will be without love and we will refuse to do good, we will begin to resent and even hate others for their ingratitude.
We will even resent and hate others for doing good. The 1st reading warns us that we have become like murderers.
But that's why we come for Mass on the first Friday and for the devotion to the Sacred Heart. We want to experience the love of Jesus for us, that He gave up His life for us so that we too will give up our lives for others, even if what we get in return is evil.
We take refuge in the Sacred Heart of Jesus and draw healing and strength from Him so that we can go forth to face the world again and keep doing good.
May the Sacred Heart of Jesus give us faith and courage to know that He is greater than the evil of the world and that He has conquered the world.