In the Lectionary

July 10, 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time: Luke 10:25-37

The lawyer asks, what must I do to be saved? Is this a test? Is he questioning Jesus’ agenda?

Stephen Prothero wrote several years ago that as a culture the West was losing a connection to the religious stories that shape values and decision making. Fewer people know the story in detail and can place it in the context of the whole of the biblical text. This leaves us disoriented and unsure of ourselves. Something is missing, Prothero suggested.

We are caught in a time of competing and continual narratives, of ethical dilemmas we are not prepared to face. Too often, we are caught in a reactive mode, which leads to shouting and fear. Controversy is the watchword of the 21st century. The test is one of discipline and careful thought, of addressing the source. This leads to questions like the lawyer’s: How can this be that you speak the truth? Through a measured question, he tests the viability of Jesus’ words and actions.