for Sunday, July 14, 2013
Today Jesus asks us to be neighbors to all people by treating others with
mercy. This is an effective mercy that not only feels compassion toward
those who are suffering but which acts to help others. It does not matter
if the others are enemies or friends, we are called to treat them with
mercy and to help them in all of their needs.
The first reading today, from the Book of Deuteronomy, tells us that the
Lord has already put these kinds of commands in our hearts. Why are we so
hard-hearted? Why is it that we do not want to help others and would even
willingly let some people suffer rather than act to help them?
Some of our response comes from cultural conditioning, some of our response
comes from the choices we have already made in our lives and some of it
comes from the evil one.
Perhaps we might even find at times that we are open to helping most
others. The challenge from the Lord Jesus is to help all others when they
are suffering or in need. We need to hear that challenge and that
invitation very strongly in our lives: love your neighbor. Who is my
neighbor? The one that I treat with mercy.
Can my heart change? God is always willing to work miracles for us, but we
must ask for our hearts to change. We must keep on asking until our hearts
do change. We cannot justify ourselves by saying that we prayed to God and
God did not answer! Rather, we must keep praying until God answers us.
The Letter to the Colossians reminds us that in Jesus all the fullness was
pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile all things for him, making
peace by the blood of his cross through him, whether those on earth or
those in heaven. Only in Jesus will we be able to love all others and to
give our lives completely for the love of others. This is not a simple
humanitarian task, but the whole meaning of our life.
So we come back to the question of the scholar of the law: Teacher, what
must I do to inherit eternal life?
Do I want eternal life? Do I even believe in eternal life? If I believe
in eternal life and want to live that life, then I must love all others.
Today is the time to love and to fight against my lack of love. Lord, help
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Deuteronomy 30.10-14
Second Reading: Colossians 1.15-20
Gospel: Luke 10.25-37
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: