Sunday, July 11, 2010

"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.""

- Luke 10: 25-37

1 comment:

  1. Our relationship with God is not a one on one relationship - such as it is in other religious, but it is a triangle - a triune relationship. The relationship that we have with God is God, me, and my neighbor. My relationship with my neighbor has an impact upon my relationship with God and my relationship with God has an impact upon my relationship with my neighbor.

    There is a certain aspect of Catholicism whereby everything is a three stranded cord. I am bound in love to God but also to my neighbor. Christ is the center of my life but my actions towards my neighbor are counted as if I did them to Christ Himself. Our adopted sonship is called an easy yoke, easy because the demand is love, a yoke because the demand of love requires us dying to ourselves so that He might live in us and in our neighbor. This is far from an easy task and it is rather much a yoke that will chafe if we attempt to go against it for the alternative to love is "not-love" which is only emptiness, pain, and self-imposed exile into the land of darkness. We are evangelical because we are not to hoard God to ourselves (like many of the Zionist and Pharisetical Jews at the time of Christ did) but we are to hand Him on to our neighbor.

    In the Old Testament, God lays out the need for one's enemy to be destroyed. In the New Testament God shows us how that is to be done -- by making our enemy our friend, even darest we say our brother, and even more daring a lover our our souls.

    Christ teaches that the only real response that is possible to give to a person is that of love. We cannot act in any other precipitating manner towards another person for in fact to do so would be to reduce them to an object to be utilized for our own self- gratification and aggrandization.

    Because of the fall, humans are horribly divided -- even divided against themselves. It is love though that will heal -- for love is both seed, tree, and fruit. Christ is the seed of our salvation, the tree of our salvation, and the fruit of our salvation. He himself is love. Take and eat. Take and eat he says. And we are called to eat of the fruit of the tree of eternal life that the seed might grow and bear fruit within our own lives for another to pluck and the cycle repeat over and over and over until love is all in all.