We Know What to Do

09-29-2019Weekly Reflection© LPi

If you saw someone dead come to life tomorrow, what would you change about your life? Would you say "nothing"? That's what Jesus seems to hope. After all, we already know what to do.

In this Sunday's Gospel, a rich man and a poor man pass away, the former to damnation and the latter to peaceful rest alongside the Jewish patriarchs. The rich man asks if the poor man can appear to his brothers and advise them to live a more virtuous life. The parable offers a strong rebuke: "They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them." In other words, they should already know what to do.

We, too, know what to do. More than Moses, Jesus Christ himself has spoken, and continues to speak through his Church. The rich man did not heed the wise words, despite knowing them. If we are convicted against certain Christian teachings in our heart, how much good will miraculous "proofs" do? We know more than the law and the prophets — we know the prophetic law of love proclaimed by Jesus Christ. Are we living like we believe it?

Where in our lives are we like the rich man? Do we know how to treat the poor but still we ignore them in our excess? Do we know the third commandment, but the Sunday liturgy feels "optional" when other weekend commitments arise? Have we heard Christ's teachings on sexuality, but consider them out of reach for us?

We have received a great many truths as Christian people. We are blessed by God with the sacraments and the abundance of His graces. We have what we need — in Him — to begin to live a virtuous life now.