“WHAT MUST I DO TO INHERIT ETERNAL LIFE?”
This is the question a lawyer asked Jesus in this Sunday’s Gospel. The answer is already given by Moses in the First Reading from Deuteronomy and so the young lawyer states correctly, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself.” Jesus tells him “Do this and you will live.”
Our Lord then gives us the parable of the Good Samaritan which reveals God’s infinite mercy when we were steeped in and wounded by sin and unable to pick ourselves up again. The well-known nursery rhyme explains our predicament very well:
Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men, couldn’t put Humpty together again.”
Since the Fall, man was like a broken egg and unable to put himself together. So God came in the person of Jesus. He became man, and by His being beaten and left for dead and then crucified on the cross, reconciled us to God and to each other. We need God to put us back together again. “Like the Samaritan He pays the price for us, heals the wounds of sin, pours out on us the oil and wine of the sacraments, entrusts to us the care of His Church until He comes back for us.” (Scott Hahn)
So we must do the same, and love with the same love with which He has loved us. This is the love that leads to eternal life.
Fr. Paul Gillham