During Bishop Christian’s knee replacement recuperation, we’ll be using the J.S. Paluch Company bulletin resources and the “Living the Word” scripture reflections for our weekly reflections.
When I am honest with myself, I know what I “ought” to do. That awareness is as near as my mind, heart, mouth and being. At a recent student event, while getting something to drink, a student asked to visit. My gut told me to do it. However, because I felt committed to another event, I begged off. When I looked for the student later, he was gone. Deep within I knew that I should have visited when he asked. God’s commandments are on our tongues, because we have recited them. They’re in our minds, because we’ve memorized them. They’re often in our hearts, too, because we internalize them. Conscience is that inner sense guiding us to know and live the mind and heart of God as the commandments teach us.
The scholar of the law who approached Jesus knew what the commandments asked, which Jesus affirms. It’s Jesus’ response to “Who is my neighbor?” that challenges him – and us. Jesus makes a Samaritan, a member of the people who did not welcome Jesus in last week’s Gospel, the example of how to love God by loving our neighbor. Imagine your reaction if someone would hold up your bitter enemy as the example in the parable. That is what Jesus does. Jesus challenges us to see that God is not limited by our enmities. Jesus, who came “to reconcile all things” by the blood of the cross, seeks reconciliation with our enemies. Deep down we know what to do. But we resist that knowledge when asked to love someone we consider “less than” us or “unworthy”. God’s commandments challenge us to treat everyone with divine mercy. Can we? Are we willing to follow Jesus’ request to “Go and do likewise”?
Thanks to Laurie Brink, O.P. and Paul H. Colloton, O.S.F.S., Living the Word