How do we attain eternal life? What does it mean to be truly alive?
This is the question that is addressed to Christ in our gospel this week (Lk 10). His answer is a story. A story about a samaritan who compassionately gives himself, his time, his energy, his care, for the life of stranger. Christ is telling us that true life is to be found now- that eternal life is not to be found in heaven or after we die, but here, now, on earth- whenever active love awakens for another human being.
This means that within every one of us there is also a good samaritan. And to awaken the good samaritan in us we are called to give ourselves in loving support for the life of another. For active love is not only how we come into contact with what it means to be truly alive, it also means that being truly alive requires one another- true life necessitates community. For real Christian Community is founded on a quality of heart- a quality that grows from the hearts knowledge that we are alive not for ourselves but to love God in and through one another.
And yet, the roots of our loneliness are deep- the forces that alienate are strong…. every modern person knows this. For we are so often tempted away from community because of the inner suspicion that there is no one who actually cares without strings attached – tempted away because of the inner suspicion that there is really no place where we can be vulnerable without being used. These thoughts and feelings attempt to keep us from one another- keep us from true life.
Dear friends, may what flows from our altar enliven our hearts togetherness. May He strengthen our faith in the power of self-giving, community building love.
This contemplation by Rev. Evans was inspired by the good samaritan.