Sunday, August 3, 2008

12th Sunday after Pentecost — Good Samaritan

Immaculate Conception Church. Cleveland, O. Luke x. 30-34.

25 And behold a certain lawyer stood up, tempting him, and saying, Master, what must I do to possess eternal life?
26 But he said to him: What is written in the law? how readest thou?
27 He answering, said: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind: and thy neighbour as thyself.
28 And he said to him: Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.
29 But he willing to justify himself, said to Jesus: And who is my neighbour?
30 And Jesus answering, said: A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, who also stripped him, and having wounded him went away, leaving him half dead.
31 And it chanced, that a certain priest went down the same way: and seeing him, passed by.
32 In like manner also a Levite, when he was near the place and saw him, passed by.
33 But a certain Samaritan being on his journey, came near him; and seeing him, was moved with compassion.
34 And going up to him, bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine: and setting him upon his own beast, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
35 And the next day he took out two pence, and gave to the host, and said: Take care of him; and whatsoever thou shalt spend over and above, I, at my return, will repay thee.
36 Which of these three, in thy opinion, was neighbour to him that fell among the robbers?
37 But he said: He that shewed mercy to him. And Jesus said to him: Go, and do thou in like manner.

It is the Charity of the despised (for the chosen people were haughty and disdainful of others) Samaritan, that, Jesus enjoins on us, not the cleverness of the lawyer, or the self righteousness of the self justified pious. The attitude of the satisfied Levite, (the priest is already distant on the road, not much more distinguishable than a stump or a stick), as he pretends not to see, is wonderfully caught in the window supra. His hands are holding each other, so that, they can do nothing. ‘Who is my neighbour?’ Let this question be asked, in different forms, in America, and watch the responses.

The christian faith is a demanding one. It is not the way of the comfortably selfish. Often, as Jesus shows us, it is those, whom are looked down upon, as not being proper citizens of the correct beliefs and heritage, that are the true neighbours, the true followers of Christ. As it has been said, Jesus has come to comfort the afflicted and ...
noto bene: some gospel passages are repeated, this one was also read on September 9, for Saint Peter Claver.

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