for Sunday, July 11, 2010
God has created us with an awareness of His love, mercy and compassion.
God has created us with a deep inner knowledge of right and wrong. We may
not always be aware of these gifts of inner knowledge, but so often even
people who have never heard of the God and Father of Jesus Christ are able
to comprehend the presence of divinity and of a loving divinity. There are
certain actions and ways of living that have been seen as right and others
as wrong all throughout human history. For sure, there are also
differences as well.
The first reading today, from the Book of Deuteronomy, indicates that God
has placed this deep awareness within all peoples, not just in the chosen
people. It is not something remote and mysterious, but something written
in our hearts. This does not indicate that we don't have to work to
understand this message of God within us. Usually we humans have to
meditate and think and struggle to understand what is within us. Even more
do we have to struggle to make sense out of various facets of our inner
understanding. One of the first results of such struggle to understand
seems to be that golden rule: One should treat others according to how one
would like others to treat them. One should not treat others in ways one
would not like to be treated.
This is the same challenge that we find in today's Gospel from Saint Luke:
who is my neighbor? The answer is clear: everyone is my neighbor insofar
as they enter my life. Everyone who is in need is my neighbor. Everyone
who has compassion on me and treats me with love is my neighbor. Jesus is
very clear that he is not speaking just about the people next door! We are
invited to see an enormous challenge in helping others if we want to follow
our Lord Jesus.
If we meditate on the Letter to the Colossians, we soon see that Christ is
present is all of creation but also in every person. This was the enormous
insight of many saints: what I do to the other person, I do to Christ.
Thus if I lose my temper with someone, I lose my temper with Christ. If I
treat someone badly, I treat Christ badly. If I give someone who is
thirsty something to drink, then I give drink to Christ himself. This is
such an incredible insight that most of us know academically or in our
heads, but so often we fail to realize this insight in our daily living.
If we truly treated each other person as God Himself, our world would
change in the twinkling of an eye.
Let us ask our Lord Jesus to open our hearts and our minds today so that
we can see with eyes of faith, that we can live lives of faith and that we
can be aware of the Divine Presence always and in everyone.
Readings of the day:
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: