Gospel reflection Luke 6 : 27-38
Max was a colleague-turned friend over the years. He was friendly and was generous, always buying a round of drinks to colleagues after work. To the point that some of us were concerned about his spending habits.
Then he fell in love with a girl from a strange country – the ones found only in a Risk board game. He dumped his fiancee of 6 years, got married and had a baby. Somewhere along the way, he left the company and was in-between jobs etc and he reached out to me to say he needed some urgent cash as money was tight and the baby was on the way.
I loaned him some and thought nothing more about it. When the baby had its coming out party, I saw his wife arriving with the kid in a $3000 pram (the design was unique, you couldn’t miss it). He also told me his in-laws had weird ideas about insisting they buy him branded stuff like designer belts, and he had to gift them brand new iPhones etc and somehow he had to pay for everything.
We compared notes amongst ourselves and realized he borrowed money from everyone we knew. He also reached out weeks later to ask for help again.
I told him plainly it didn’t make sense for me to fund his lifestyle. I would rather buy myself a luxury watch. I then watched with baited breath as he went through job after job, even taking salary advancements before starting a new job and then getting fired.
But somehow along the way, he bumped into my mum, because they lived in the same estate for a few years. I’m not sure what she said, but he joined the Catholic Church in later years and is active in some ministries.
Today, one decade later, he seems to have gotten his life together. He still holds a good job and texts me to tell me stuff about Church happenings, although honestly, I am still wary about his motivations.
In this Sunday’s gospel, Jesus says “Give to everyone who asks you, and do not ask for your property back from someone who takes it”. We are reminded to a call to radical love. A love that doesn’t make sense.
The guy above is not the only person I have loaned and lost money to. It is hard to draw the line sometimes when someone repeatedly asks for help.
Especially people you are close to. We pray that the Lord guides us in our tests with difficult people around us and forgive us if we do not live up to his expectations.