Father Rodney Torbic

November 13 / 26, 2017

The Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

Luke 10:25-37

And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise. (KJV)

Eternal life is the goal of serious believers. Believers should fervently pursue this goal. No believer wants to hear: ”Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Mt. 25:41.

Believers are expected to be careful and discerning a s they proceed through daily life. Sins can accrue readily. Temptations appear that lead believers down paths to destruction of the soul.

Serious believers pray for strength and wisdom from God. Serious believers are faithful to the narrow gate. (Mt. 7:13) Daily faithfulness to God is the hallmark of serious believers.

Jesus put the responsibility on the inquiring lawyer. Jesus asked the lawyer what the law said about eternal life. Informed believers hear the Gospel regularly in church.

The way a believer applies the Gospel to personal life reflects personal Christian faith and seriousness. Serious believers are diligent in heeding and adhering to the Gospel.

The lawyer knew the correct answer to Jesus’ question. Complete love of God and neighbor are expected. Many people know the Lord Jesus Christ’s ways and teachings but are lukewarm in following Christ.

Some seemingly devout believers deviate from God’s law and put their souls in peril. Faithfulness to Christ is always required. Sincere repentance is necessary whenever sin occurs.

The Kingdom of God beckons all believers. The Lord Jesus Christ is very clear in the current Gospel about love of God and love of neighbor. This Gospel lesson is repeated each year for believers to learn the lesson well.

The wise and serious believer will realize when he or she sins and will quickly repent. The wise and serious believer takes steps to avoid sin and to be nourished by the Holy Gospel.

The lawyer did not simply take Jesus at His word. The lawyer decided to respond to Jesus with a further question. By asking the question, the lawyer was holding himself distant from Jesus.

Lawyers know about robbery victims. Robbery victims located on the roadside are an unsettling sight. In ancient times and in the present, passersby do not want to get involved.

Perhaps it is fear of becoming a victim. Perhaps it is fear of a personal cost. Perhaps it is an inconvenience to stop and help. Jesus wanted the lawyer to consider the robbery victim as a way of learning about eternal life.

The Church wants individuals of every generation to learn the same lesson. With each passing day the Second Coming of Christ draws closer. The Final Judgment becomes increasingly imminent with each passing day.

Jesus said: “”Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.” (Mt. 25:13) Each moment is a moment to cherish and experience the life in Christ.

Each moment is a moment to appreciate Christ and all that He has done for each one of us. Too often individuals ask from God but fail to take time to say “Thank You.”

Too often believers think only of themselves as they travel and are blind to the victims of life located along the roadside. Callous members of society do not help the obviously injured.

The Samaritan stopped to help the injured man. The Samaritan determined that stopping to help was more important than continuing on his way.

The Samaritan had compassion. The Lord Jesus Christ had compassion on His mother when He hung upon the Cross (Jn. Jn. 19:26-27). The Lord Jesus Christ had compassion when He healed the man at the pool of Bethesda. (Jn. 5:2-9).

The Lord Jesus Christ had compassion when He healed the man born blind (Jn.9:1-38). The Lord Jesus Christ had compassion when He healed the woman with the issue of blood and restored life to Jairus’ daughter (Lk. 8:41-56).

Believers attentive to the Holy Gospel know of Christ showing compassion on the sick and the suffering. Serious believers do their best to be compassionate to their neighbors on the roadways of life.

November 13 / 26, 2017.
The Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost.
St. John Chrysostom.
Archbishop of Constantinople.

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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