Sunday, July 14, 2013

Go and Do Likewise

Go and Do Likewise

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time 2013 C 

By Rev. Joe McCloskey, SJ

Moses said to the people: “If only you would heed the voice of the LORD, your God, and keep his commandments and statutes that are written in this book of the law, when you return to the LORD, your God, with all your heart and all your soul. Deuteronomy 30:10-12 
He is the head of the body, the church.  He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he himself might be preeminent.  For in him all the fullness* was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile all things for him, making peace by the blood of his cross.  Colossians 1:18-20b 
Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?”   Luke 10:36


Piety allows us to reach beyond our comfort zone to touch the broken bodies of the poor and the needy.  We need the hands of Christ to touch bodies wounded by pain and suffering.  When we handle the suffering bodies of the abandoned, we touch the suffering body of Christ.  His suffering is all the brokenness of the people of God.  He sees a world created through himself by the father.  It is Christ calling when we see our hearts noticing the sufferings of our neighbor.  Every time we pass by the suffering one, we pass by Christ. 


We study ourselves to discover how we are repulsed by our human nature in our desire to help our downtrodden neighbor.  The perfect love is to love the neighbor as ourselves.  The perfect love allows us to reach out to Christ in all those we do not have sufficient courage or the faith to help.  We notice a lot more of our hurting world than we do something about.  God gives all of himself to his Son.  The son from the cross images the marvelous gift of the father by giving all of himself for us.  When we are unresponsive to the call on our hearts to do something for another, it is the voice of our sinful nature we are listening to: it does not want its comfort disturbed.  We are given many chances to do something for the poor.  We know that we will always have the poor with us.  What we do is a drop in the bucket of what is needed.  Our conscience lets us know how much of the call we have missed.   The call of the Lord on our hearts does not go away.  Years go by and we cannot help but remember what the Lord wanted us to do.  Our hearts only rest when they rest in the Lord. 


I am convinced that what I do for the least person of my life is a good measure of how much I love Christ.  I look at what I do for the people in life I most care about and wonder if that is also a true measure?  If I try to do for the least people of my life what I would do for my family, I know that Christ is truly loved in my life.    People are the reality check of how much I love Christ.  If no one can tell whom I most love in life, than I know I deeply love Christ.  Christ sets the standard of caring.  He tells us that as the father has loved him, he has loved us.  He asks us to love one another even as we have been loved by him.  He died for the good and the bad alike.  “No greater love has anyone than to give their live for another.” If we are offering all of ourselves to each person who comes our way, it is thus true we love as Christ would have us love.  The Commandments are also a reality check.  They are the perfect statement of what genuine love means.   If we did not know the commandments and wanted to be happy, we would have to invent them.  They are written on our hearts as the to-do of a happy life.  The commandments lived make out of our lives true love. 

No comments: