Year C - Pentecost+8 or Community Practice+8
July 10, 2016
“Legal experts” are like children pushing and pulling to find the limits of their situation. Limits here are both minimum and maximum. If I am going to plan a trajectory toward some goal or desire—in this case something called “eternal life”—what will describe how little and how much I need to do to achieve this outcome. Not attending to a basic entrance fee or overdoing the good to the point of whatever “works righteousness” is would both disqualify one.
So, is this your question or not. In a culture of “None” religion we are more likely to hear this spoken of in terms of self-actualization or manifestation language. This reverses the classic striving to arrive at eternity to a question of how to attract eternity into my sphere.
A question about questions is a necessary starting point for a pericope responding to a question. Did Jesus help with setting a minimum limit to enter eternity? Did he leave us with additional questions to engage our potential disengagement from both dogma and experience, scripture and story?
In good Socratic fashion Jesus responds with a question that pushes the lawyer and ourselves—what is the basis of your interpretation of what is going on around you? This has and will haunt us beyond our sophomore bull-sessions, limit-explorations.
Note the temptation to settle into extending what we consider to be right, fair, limiting. Only now is a story appropriate (after dealing with a legalist’s question with a legal question).
Still we are left with a question: which response was neighborly?
Everyone seems to know it is the third person in a story that becomes the hero. In this case the qualifying quality of the hero is that of “mercy”.
Now the invitation with an implied next question. “Go and do likewise (show mercy to all your relatives).”
“How is that working for you?”
= = = = = = =
Now that you have tried premeditated mercy, your report or next question is . . . ?