“TEACHER, WHAT SHALL I DO TO INHERIT ETERNAL LIFE?” LK 10:25-37
Humbly submit your will to God (thy will be done) and consecrate yourself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through Mary and Joseph.
And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have answered right; do this, and you will live.” But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion, and went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, `Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ Which of these three, do you think, proved neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, ”The one who showed mercy on him.” And Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.” Lk 10:25-37
Today, Jesus reveals to us the answer to the most important question a person could ask the One with the greatest Power, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” The lawyer responds with the Great Commandment, love God above all and neighbor as self. If you believe in an afterlife, a spiritual realm, then this is the answer on how to get there.
Jesus reveals what will happen on judgment day. There are only two kinds of people, Peter Kreeft says, on judgment day, the one who answers “Thy Will be done” or the one who says, “my will be done”. Either we make a decision to give up our life and allow Christ to be the center of our lives and transform us or we don’t. He asks us to surrender each day.
What actions of love mean the most to our Creator, mercy and compassion. God wants us to suffer with others and forgive them. We have all been in situations where we could judge and label someone so we don’t need to help them or we throw all judgment and labels out the window and help.
The 1st century Jews Jesus is speaking to would have known quite well that He was calling them out. The Samaritan was a half-Jew, unclean according to the law of Moses. Jesus is making a point. It doesn’t matter what religion, color of skin, race, or type of sinner you are, if someone needs help have a heart and help them.
The interesting thing is I see myself failing in this area everyday with my own family. I am selfish and don’t help. Think of it this way, God is constantly giving love, mercy, compassion, and forgiveness to us. When is the last time you could forgive yourself and be reconciled to God. When is the last time Father told you your sins were not forgiven because you passed the limit of sins or it was too big of a whopper? When is the last time you asked Jesus to suffer with you and He didn’t?
Jesus is our center, our unchanging rock, we give up our life so other’s can see Christ in us and glorify the Father. This glorifies Him because we are His pride and joy. When we love like Christ, we are glorified in the Father. This is our purpose and mission in life, the rest is just details! Jesus teaches us in today’s Gospel the answer to inheriting eternal life. We must accept God as God, give up our life to make Him the center, then do what He did for us by doing it for others (compassion, mercy, love, forgiveness, a relationship/friendship).
If there was another way, Jesus would have revealed it. The only audience we need to fit in with, be popular with, or belong to is Christ and all of the angels and saints. Holy equals happy. Giving without expecting anything in return is common place for this audience. Jesus taught us in the Gospel last week, “Without cost you have received, without cost you are to give.” MT 10:8 Loving, forgiving, and suffering with others is their characteristics. So, you have a decision to make, God or self. Eternal life depends on it and no doctor or scientist have found a cure for death yet.
Today’s challenge: Ask God to give you the graces you need to forgive as He forgives us. When is the last time you went to confession and the priest told you he could not forgive your sins? Who have you not forgiven or shown mercy to in your life? If you’re like me, it’s probably the person right next to you. Take time today to forgive and heal a relationship as God does for you!
Be a servant, become a saint!