Luke 10:25-27 People Pleasers
There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test Jesus and said, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
If I were to ask a group of Catholic High School students what we must do to have eternal life, I guarantee that most of them (if not all of them) would say, “Do good things to others.” And of course that would be incorrect.
Now in our politically-correct charged atmosphere, that is rapidly decaying Christian values and common sense, my response to such a global-fuzzy-warm-feelings sentiment would not sit very well with most so-called “social justice” advocates of the first-world-in-high-tech (but third-world-in-family-life) nation of America.
The Lord answered this question, regarding salvation, long ago by posing a simple question to a scholar: “What do you read in the Law [Scripture]?” The man answered by saying, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” Christ said, "You are correct."
Now, in order not to fall into the trap of loving others as we love ourselves, the Lord gave us a criteria. He said, "Love one another as I have loved you."
The Lord feared that we would love others not as we should, but to make us feel good. In other words, the Lord feared that we could easily end up wanting our neighbor to worship us…just as we worship ourselves. And maybe that's the reason why we rarely ever mention God in any of our "social justice" projects.
But if we can rise above ourselves, then we can rise above the fray just like the Lord rose from the dead and above all human conditions.
Christ invites us to rise above human divisions and cultural barriers and promote a movement that places God above all things: all ideas, all customs, all people and all powers! The Gospel of Jesus Christ is nothing more than the Gospel of Truth and Life in a Culture of death and lies.
I know I have more in common with some of my Baptist friends than I do with some of my Catholic parishioners. I know that I have more in common with some public school students than I do with some Catholic school students. We are related not by titles but by mission.
A few days ago I walked past a high school student waiting for the bus to take him to a Catholic High School. He saw me. I saw him. I smiled at him. I waited to see if he would say something. He said nothing. In fact, he put his head down. I thought to myself, “There goes another Catholic student who is sick and tired of God and the faith.” Then, on the same day, I read in the newspaper how a bunch of public school cheerleaders were fighting in court to keep their tradition of writing bible quotes on their banners! That’s amazing! But what is even more amazing is that the judge ruled in their favor (at least temporarily).
How many Catholic schools do you know put bible quotes on their banners, marquees, newsletters, etc…?
Again, it’s all about what we want to promote: an unknown God or a well known school; an unnamed God or a name for our school? Do we have to sacrifice one for the other?
Well, this morning I saw him again. He stood like a statue in the freezing cold air. I walked up to him, with my head down and stood in front of him. I made the sign of the Cross and looked up at my living “statue”. I pretended to be startled and I told him, “Oh my goodness! I thought you were a statue of St. Augustine!” He was shocked. He smiled and laughed…a little. He didn’t know what to say. That’s the unfortunate part.
Sometimes I think our schools, in their drive for academic excellence, cause our students “shell-shock” and confusion with regards to common sense and religious fervor.
The Lord helped a “scholar” to better understand the word “neighbor”. You would think it would be obvious to such a brilliant man. But as the war on religion (on what is right, holy, decent and good) continues to ravage America, our youth and our families, you would think that we would be fighting back. Instead, we have become “people pleasers”. Worst of all, we think this is pleasing to God.
St. Paul asks the Galatians: “Am I seeking to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ” (Gal 1:6-12).
You gotta love St. Paul, since nobody else did.
We tend to place “freedom” above the Gospel. But we can see what happens to our youth, our families, our culture and our neighbors when this happens. What the Gospel tells us and what experience has demonstrated is that freedom without responsibility is a disaster!
Christians have been given the tremendous responsibility to save America and Americans. How? By serving God and help our neighbor. Let’s not blow it by being people pleasers.