On the Gospel of Luke (10:25-37)
At the beginning of this week’s gospel passage, we see a lawyer, someone who is well versed in the art of arguing, confronting Jesus with a question. It is written in the passage that the lawyer was trying to “disconcert” Jesus, or, in other words, embarrass or upset Jesus. So many times, we ourselves ask God questions while thinking that we know the answer ourselves and simply want God to conform to what we feel is the best response to a given situation.
God, however, knew us before we even knew ourselves and therefore, always knows what is best for us. It is essential then, that when we communicate with God in prayer, we always open ourselves to the transformative power of God in our lives. In prayer, we should seek to abandon ourselves to the will of God, following the great example of Mary, our mother, and her wholehearted “yes,” to the will of God. We all struggle with presenting God with a grocery list of prayers, but I guess one of the greatest prayers we can say to God could be just “Do whatever.” In prayer, we need to come before God, sinful as we are, and be completely honest with our Heavenly Father, who loves us more than we can ever imagine.
This week’s gospel also presents us with a parable that seeks to further explain the Christian command of loving one’s neighbour. In the gospel passage, the priest and the Levite, both seemingly holy in outward appearances, pass the injured man on the road, never even trying to help the man. The Samaritan traveler, who is in the same position as the priest and Levite, is “moved with compassion,” and helps the injured man. It is quite likely that the priest and Levite, were both pestered by their consciences, so to speak, but made a judgment not to assist the injured man. They were most likely prompted to “move” and respond with compassion but stifled this inclination to do good. We might even speculate that they may have actually justified to themselves why it was the right thing not to help the man and possibly even prayed for the man on the road. So often, we ourselves might justify our own lack of charity, and make a very good case about why we should be uncharitable. As Christians, however, love is at the very heart of our faith and we must be prepared to show charity to anyone, no matter who that person is. Carrying someone in difficulty to God in prayer is essential, but our prayer must also move us to bring love to whoever is our neighbour at any given time.
At the very end of the Gospel passage, Jesus tells the lawyer to, “Go, and do the same yourself.” An encounter with Christ always brings forth a conversion, which we must act upon. It is not enough for us to become aware of a problem in our lives which causes God pain, but we have to always strive to reform our lives and renew our Christian zeal to go forth and be true witnesses of the gospel values.