“Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” –Luke 10:25
Even though I’m a practicing Catholic, I admit whole weeks go by without my giving a thought to eternal life. Present life is so compelling: who has time or room to contemplate the what-ifs of the infinite? The practical displaces the metaphysical every time. The need to fix lunch seems more imperative than prepping for the life of the world to come.
Yet along comes this professional religionist, testing Jesus with a pious question about everlasting life. They trade textbooks responses and are in apparent agreement that love is the key. Then Jesus throws the textbook out the window, launching into a story that changes the elements of the argument altogether. Forget classical expressions of loyalty to God and neighbor. Do mercy to your enemy instead!
Jaws drop whenever Jesus teaches. He confounds our easy piety and self-promoting righteousness. Jesus asks us to love as God does: beyond the nice boundaries of our comfort zone. Follow Jesus for an adventure in extreme loving!
Draw a picture of your heart. Include who’s in and who’s out. Draw God’s heart around the whole. Contemplate this image.
LET US PRAY… Generous God, your Son teaches us to ask with confidence for what we need. Jesus promises that if we fervently seek, we will find and if we knock persistently, the door will open. Give courage and strength to those who are most in need of your consoling help. With your tender mercy, dry the tears of those who weep. Amen.
Image credit: Distant Shores Media/Sweet Publishing [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons