Lk 10: 25-37

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.

Demonstrating What We Have Learned

When I was in secondary school, I used to love taking quizzes because they allowed me to demonstrate what I had learned. Now, as an adult in the school of God’s kingdom, I realize that life itself is where I must demonstrate what I learn.

In today’s reading from Luke, a scholar stands up in the temple and asks Jesus, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus’ response is simple: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart.” We can apply his words to us as well, in the modern world in which we live. We too must develop a culture of love. “Love,” said Ignatius, “ought to manifest itself in deeds rather than words.” Practical, active, real-life love is the way we demonstrate what we have learned from Christ.

—Patrick Saint-Jean, SJ, is a Jesuit regent and assistant professor of psychology at Creighton University. He is the Author of The Spiritual Work of Racial Justice and The Crucible of Racism.

Prayer

Jesus, help me to contribute today to your kingdom. May I demonstrate your love to each person I encounter. Amen.

—Patrick Saint-Jean, SJ