It’s a dog eat dog world, Sammy, and I’m wearing Milkbone underwear.

No, I didn’t pull that quote from the readings of today.  I’m thinking it might still be appropriate though.  Jonah is running and hiding from God because he doesn’t want to have any part of delivering God’s message to the people of Nineveh; the psalm writes of being rescued from the pit and the Gospel teaches us that the greatest commandment is love of neighbor; I believe the man who was beaten probably would have agreed with Norm until the Samaritan came along to help him.

In today’s world, I think a lot of people feel like they’re wearing Milkbone underwear.  Just open up any online news source, twitter, LinkedIn, etc.  Ask Mike Shildt how he’s feeling this morning; President Trump; Pope Francis; Nancy Pelosi; Joe Biden; seems like we have a lot of people trying on those milkbone undergarments.  It is also easy in this day and age to be the priest and the Levite passing the up the beaten man on the street.  I am not innocent of this.  Hit the “like” button on an article that you agree with and smile that you’ve done your part in correcting all that is wrong with the world.

The question I have before me now is what must I do to be like the Samaritan in today’s Gospel?  What must I do to have the courage to do the task God has set before me instead of fleeing from it like Jonah did in today’s first reading.  How do I avoid falling into the pit as the psalmist writes about this morning?  Unfortunately, I’m not the guy with the answers – I’m the guy still seeking those answers.  I do know the source to provide me the guidance though.  I think you too know who that source is…

But the LORD sent a large fish, that swallowed Jonah;
and Jonah remained in the belly of the fish
three days and three nights.
From the belly of the fish Jonah prayed
to the LORD, his God.
Then the LORD commanded the fish to spew Jonah upon the shore.

R. You will rescue my life from the pit, O Lord.
When my soul fainted within me,
I remembered the LORD;
My prayer reached you
in your holy temple.
R. You will rescue my life from the pit, O Lord.

There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test Jesus and said,
“Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law?
How do you read it?”
He said in reply,
“You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your being,
with all your strength,
and with all your mind,
and your neighbor as yourself.”
He replied to him, “You have answered correctly;
do this and you will live.”…
Which of these three, in your opinion,
was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?”
He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.”
Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

From the belly of the fish Jonah prayed
to the LORD, his God.

You will rescue my life from the pit, O Lord.

do this and you will live…treat him with mercy

I believe the only answer to getting us our of our Milkbone underwear and into a comfortable pair of BVD’s is God.  Pray.  Pray.  Pray.  You don’t have to be in Church to do this, you don’t have to be in a quiet place to do this you just have to do this.  It is only through prayer and meditation on the Scriptures that we can find the right course to take in life.  Tap into God’s everlasting mercy; pray that He grants you that Mercy.  It will keep the dogs from biting your backside and you from biting your neighbor’s backside.

Do something great for our Lord today – pray, meditate on the Bible, show mercy to those who are your neighbors.

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

He must increase; I must decrease.

But you, man of God, pursue righteousness,
devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness.
Compete well for the faith.

 

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