Monthly Scripture Reflection

Yet know this: the kingdom of God is at hand.”
Luke 10:11

After all the heavy doctrinal lessons and all the celebration of special feasts last month, July readings settle down to how to live out this faith. From hearing how Jesus sent out “laborers for his harvest” on the first Sunday to learning the “Our Father” the fourth one, our task is to recognize the message as “you have only to carry it out.”

That last phrase is from Deuteronomy. Moses is reminding the people that God has placed his expectations of our behavior in our very hearts. Thus we see Abram showing hospitality to strangers and being rewarded with Sarai’s pregnancy. We recognize God’s justice in the Sodom and Gomorra episode, where he will not destroy the innocent with the sinners: “For the sake of those ten I will not destroy it.”

Now St. Luke’s Gospel is revealing God’s plans for us—as seen in what we observe his followers doing. The seventy-two disciples learned to trust that carrying nothing with them but the message of Jesus was more than sufficient. To welcomers they were told to say, “The kingdom of God is at hand for you.” To snubbers, the dust of their town will be shaken off against them. They marveled that “even demons are subject to us because of your name.” Luke then shows us an answer to “who is my neighbor?” And Martha and Mary welcomed Jesus in their own ways, Martha by preparing dinner for him and Mary by listening to him. Next we hear Jesus touting persistence in prayer: “Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be opened.” Eagerly will our Father in heaven “give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”

St. Paul, meanwhile, is impressing upon us the primacy of Jesus, “the image of the invisible God.” By the “blood of his cross he reconciled all things,” holding everything together, being the head of the body, his church. He assures us Gentiles that the riches of the glory of God is now ours, too. “It is Christ in you . . .it is he whom we proclaim.” We are “buried with him in Baptism . . .raised with him through faith in the power of God.”

So “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Well, what have we been learning this month? Examples of loving both the all-forgiving God and the neighbors p[aced among us.

“Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule.”
Galations 6:16

Terry Schulte, MASL