Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? What do you read there?” He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.” But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.’ Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.” New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
The Body of Christ
God didn’t have to create anything. But, since God is love, God desired a creation in which to share love. Human beings are made in God’s image and likeness and so it is not good for humans to be alone. We are not isolated individuals, but rather images of God who is a great mystery, a communion of Three Persons yet One. We are created to reflect that communion of love into the world.
Sacramental marriage is one of the clearest reflections of divine love. In marriage, there is a communion of persons, a mystery of two becoming one. Similarly, the Eucharist is a marriage in which two become one. The Word-Made-Flesh, makes himself one with our flesh, and the two become one. We are truly the Body of Christ, or, as Pope Benedict said at World Youth Day 2005, “his own flesh and blood.” How will I be Christ’s presence this week?
Jesus, help me to believe that you have no eyes or hands or feet on earth but mine;
that mine are the eyes with which you look with compassion on this world;
that mine are the feet with which you walk in order to do good;
that mine are the hands with which you bless all the world.
You, Jesus, are the head and I am the body. We two are one, the Body of Christ.
—Adapted by Fr. Jim Kubicki, SJ, from a prayer attributed to St. Teresa of Avila