In the tenth chapter of Luke's Gospel an expert in the law asks Jesus: And who is my neighbor? Jesus answers with the story of the good Samaritan, a parable that reminds us to live our faith not debate it. Jesus is not concerned with ethnic origins or religious sensibilities, but with the believers' willingness to do what is right before God. The Good Samaritan is held up as an example of someone with the "wrong" religion, but the right attitude towards those in need.
Luke's Gospel might also have asked: and who is my Master? Determined to remind his listeners that too many religious leaders have divided hearts, Luke insists that living the Gospel is about making choices which bind us to the good despite the cost. If Jesus' followers were too concerned with the traditional signs of God's love, if they were overly worried about money, property, family and health, they could not follow Jesus with full hearts.
These days we seem tempted to have not two but many, many masters. Whether it is money, our reputation or our influence upon or over others, there are multiple concerns that distract us from living the Good News with the power Jesus offers us as gift. Unless we learn to let go of that which divides our hearts, we will be running in four directions at once, not even knowing that we are lost. Taking time each day for reflection and quiet prayer not only alerts us to the competing voices within us, it can steady us on the Gospel path and be a compass that directs us into the heart of God.
Today, examine your conscience carefully about matters which divide your heart.
What fears most distract you from a full Gospel life?