Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Go and Do Likewise
"Go and do likewise " (Lk 10:37), Jesus says to the scholar of the law who puts him to text. He asked an important question: "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" but he asked with a bad motive. Irrespective of the intent, the question is a fundamental one for how we see our life here on earth. We must live in the presence with a long term view of living eternally in heaven with God. What do we need to do to gain eternal life?
To live eternally after the life here and now is tied to what we do in the name of Christ. As Christians, Christ calls us to bear witness to acts of love and mercy (hence, we need to revisit the seven corporal and spiritual works of mercy). Jesus quotes the torah to the scholar of law, he quotes from books of Deuteronomy and Leviticus, love God and love your neighbors as yourself.
I'm aware we have heard this message over and over but we can see that the message has not been well engrained in us. There are people around us yet to experience our acts of love, mercy and compassion- in a Christlike way. Our church, towns and country need more Christians who will take care of suffering neighbors. We need devout Catholics who not only pray but Catholics who also pour wine and oil on wounds of their neighbors. We see sights of horror and pain as we go about our beautiful cities but we also see struggling neighbors in our cities. I see them in New York, here in Elizabethtown, and here in Abuja, the capital city of Nigeria (I'm writing this message from Abuja). Each time you see those suffering neighbors, pay attention to what the Holy Spirit says to you about them. He will instruct you in the mandate of Jesus to be a Good Samaritan who bandaged the wounds of his suffering neighbor. Look around you and, "go and do likewise."
People need love and mercy from us. Will you revisit the Catholic corporal works of mercy this week? Check the Catechism of the Catholic Church or just google it. Show Christlike love and mercy today and always. May God reward our acts of mercy with eternal life.
With love from Abuja, Nigeria. See you all next week.
Fr. Bernard, OP