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Kevin wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • If someone does a good service, or tries to do a good service for us, should we do a good service for them in return?
  • Is that okay with God?
  • What do you consider an Act of God and is it wrong to ask for an Act of God, even if it's against others?

Thank you for your time.

Kevin

  { If someone does a good service for us and what do you consider an Act of God? }

Mike replied:

Hi, Kevin —

You said:

  • If someone does a good service, or tries to do a good service for us, should we do a good service for them in return?
  • Is that okay with God?

True charity is given freely without any expectation of a return favor. Various people have an array of maturities in this area. Some, in my opinion, have an immature attitude that expects something in return if they have done something for you.

Our charity should be given without any expectation of receiving anything back, just as Our Lord's Death on the Cross was a free gift to us for the sake of our salvation.

In addition, there are unique situations where, when someone does something for us, our ability just to receive the good deed with appreciation, is a gift to the giver.

If you wish (by your own choice) to show your appreciation for something that someone has done for you, there is nothing wrong with that, as Jesus commends the returning Samaritan:

12 Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. 13 And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” 14 So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed. 15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16 and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. 17 So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? 18 Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” 19 And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.”

Luke 17:12-19

It should be noted that Jesus appreciates the thanks given by the Samaritan. The Samaritan didn't have to do anything in return for the original gift of healing that he received from Him.

You said:

  • What do you consider an Act of God and is it wrong to ask for an Act of God, even if it's against others?

An Act of God, is an event that was brought about by God Himself without man's intervention.
The media has probably reported many so-called "acts of God", that are not really Acts of God,
but rather the consequences of man's behavior as poor stewards of the earth.

Catholics believe in taking care of the earth and the environment, but we have to first take care of all human life from the moment of conception to natural death. Issues have to be prioritized correctly. As a matter of fact, our current Holy Father is very "green friendly". The roof of the Pope Paul VI auditorium is covered with solar panels and I believe he has an energy efficient car besides the Popemobile.

We should never desire that bad things happen to:

  • those that we don't like, or
  • those that don't like us.

One of the Scripture passages that is probably forgotten, let alone, not practiced, even among practicing Christians is the command Our Lord gave us to love our enemies and pray for those that persecute us.

I can think of several people I don't like (or have a hard time liking) because they have hurt me in the past. It's hard, but I'm still commanded to love my enemies and pray for them.

I hope this answers your questions.

Mike

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