Who is Good?

“And, as he went forth into the roadway, someone came running to him (Jesus) and knelt and asked, “Good teacher, what may I do in order that I may inherit the life of the Age?” “Why do you call me good? There is no one good save one: God.” The Gospels of Mark and Luke

If Jesus says only God is good, then do we dare take it upon ourselves to be God and judge whether a person is good or bad? Are we not called to “Love our neighbors” even if our neighbor be judged an enemy or friend. Thomas Merton says: “Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. That is not our business and, in fact, it is nobody’s business. What we are asked to do is to love, and this love itself will render both ourselves and our neighbors worthy if anything can.”

This reminds me of the story in the Bible that we call “The Good Samaritan.” Even though this title is not in the Bible, the story shows us a living example of what are “good works.” The following is a story of sacrifice, empathy, compassion and love. Even more, we have a specific teaching by Jesus Christ on loving our neighbors, regardless of whether we judge them “bad or good.”

25And look: A certain lawyer stood up to test him, saying, “Teacher, by what deeds may I inherit life in the Age?” 26And he said to him, “What has been written in the Law? How do you read it?” 27And in reply he said, “You shall love the Lord your God out of the whole of your heart and in the whole of your soul and in the whole of your strength and in the whole of your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” 28And he said to him, “You answer correctly; do this and you shall live.” 29But he, wishing to vindicate himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30Taking this up, Jesus said, “A certain man was going down from Jerusalem, and he fell among bandits, who stripped him and rained blows upon him and went away leaving him half dead. 31And by a coincidence a certain priest was going down by that road and, seeing him, passed by on the opposite side. 32And a Levite also, coming upon the place and seeing him, passed by on the opposite side. 33But a certain Samaritan on a journey came upon him and was inwardly moved with compassion, 34And approaching bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine, and setting him upon his own mount he brought him to a lodge and cared for him. 35And taking out two denarii on the following day he gave them to the keeper of the lodge and said, ‘Take care of him, and whatever you spend beyond this I shall repay you on my return.’ 36Who of these three does it seem to you became a neighbor to the man falling among bandits?” 37And he said, “The one treating him with mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

The question is not whether a person is good or bad but if we are bearing the good fruit of peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control? Are we fighting the good fight to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength, and love our neighbors as ourselves?

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