Grace to you!
The life of Jesus Christ draws me in. Inspiring. Invigorating. Revealing. No matter any progress made in the spiritual life, face to face with one aspect of Jesus’ life or the other reveals my need for him. Do you sometimes feel that way too?
The reality of the revelation of God in Christ for our daily contemplation sets us on the wheel of rediscovery.
Do you want eternal life? Are you interested in living a happy and holy life? No need to go too far. You have someone to look up to; someone that offers it. Not your pastor or your friend. Instead, look up to Jesus Christ. By the time you read him, his life, words and actions, you would have all you need to know about how to live a holy life and live it.
As Saint Paul wrote, “For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of the cross” (Colossians 1: 19).
When you participate in Christ’s life through the channels of grace he has opened for believers, namely his words and the sacraments, you will constantly be in him. The grace-filling moments of his life in his body, the Church, will flow in your blood. Therefore, your life would be enlivened with his Spirit.
One simple example could help you appreciate the life of Christ. It’s the popular story of the Good Samaritan. It was a parable told by Jesus to a Lawyer who wanted to know how one could receive eternal life. The story is recorded in the Gospel of Luke 10:25-37.
The synopsis: It’s about a Samaritan who saved the life of a Jew who was brutally beaten by thieves and left to die. Neither his Jewish brother of the highly religious class - a Levite, nor even a leader of the religious group, a priest, paid attention. They turned their eyes away from their brother. It was a stranger, one considered an enemy, who helped him, took him to safety, and went the extra mile to pay for his treatment, as well as checked on him thereafter. Remember that the Jews regarded the Samaritans as the worst of sinners; those outside the radius of divine salvation.
Eternal life, heaven, salvation, Jesus says, has to be like doing what the Samaritan did.
Think about this for a moment: Does my religion promote harmony among people? Does it overturn discrimination? How many times have I broken the walls of enmity between me and somebody I really don’t like; someone I consider already condemned? Am I able to break an age-long prejudice so as to see the face of Christ in my neighbor? Is Christ’s life in me, in my blood, so real I no longer look at my neighbor with disgust?
If heaven is a home for all the saints, what would it look like to see the person I hated, I maligned and avoided in the same heaven? Such a heaven could be interesting.
If we are the body of Christ, then we are to be that sacrament of the revelation of God’s unconditional love, unmerited grace and shackles–breaking faith to a world of discrimination.
Many times this statement from Jesus confronts me: “Whatever you did for these little ones of mine, you did for me.”
May we be like the Good Samaritan and grow in unbounded love for one another. Amen
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Sunday, July 10, 2016, Ordinary Time: Deuteronomy 30:10-14; Colossians 1:15-20; Luke 10:25-37]
Fr. Maurice Emelu, Ph.D.
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.