Gaining eternal life is hard – and simple
Reflections on the readings for the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (July 14, 2019): DT 30:10-14; PS 69:14,17,30-31,33-34,36,37; COL 1:15-20; LK 10:25-37
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
What must I do to inherit eternal life? One way or another this is a question most of us have thought about at different points in our lives.
As followers of Christ, we look to Him to understand what God asks of us. During His public ministry, our Lord was questioned by a law scholar who was more interested in testing Him than in getting a real answer. So He turned the tables on the man. “Jesus said to him, ‘What is written in the law?… He said in reply, ‘You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself’ (Luke 10:26-27). The scholar quoted well-known verses from Deuteronomy and Leviticus, and Christ agreed with him. Loving both God and our neighbor are essential elements to leading a good life now – and one that will bring us to eternity in heaven.
The idea of loving your neighbor as yourself can somehow seem both too simple and too difficult. It’s too simple because it sounds so mundane as a broad concept, but too difficult as soon as we actually try to put it into action. And when we consider the specific idea of loving somebody else the way we love our selves, it can really be daunting. If we remember that all human beings want to be respected and treated as unique individuals, we will be better able to show genuine compassion for others. Above all, we need to rely on Christ who will show us the way to be His disciples through faith, hope and, of course, love.