Monday of the 27th Week of the Year

Luke 10:25-37

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES:

Kung Masaya ka daw na magluluto, lalong sumasarap ang pagkain. In other words, one ingredient of a happy life is love.

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The characters of the parable are the following:

The Victim: traveling alone without companions on a road famous for brigands was careless. He was either over-confident, ignorant or drunk. All these point to one thing: it was his fault that he fell among robbers. His motto was: Bahala na.

The Priest: a holy man in charge of Temple ceremonies and prayers. His work was within the house of worship. Helping someone would be a big delay. His motto was: Worship First.

The Levite: A man also closely associated with minor cultic functions in Jewish worship. He probably thought that the man was a decoy for another robber to entrap him. So he took the other way and escaped. His motto was: Safety First.

The Samaritan:  this group of people was considered Gentiles and therefore disliked by Jews. “Mga taong-labas”. The man who was chosen by Jesus to act as “bida” was unchurched; he did not believe in the Jewish commandments and observances. And yet he was an honest man, because the innkeeper must have known him and accepted his word in behalf of the injured person. He proved neighbor to someone in need. His motto: Follow you heart.

Three lessons of the Parable: One, loving God in religion gives us a brave heart, not a fearful one. Two, worship must ne be separated from our life; our coming to church and our prayers should lead us to active charity. Three, we should help people, even if they commit mistakes.

Finally, to anyone who follows the Lord, here is his word: ‘go, and do the same yourself.” (Fr. Atilano Curcuera, SVD Bible Diary 2004)

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When Jesus told the Parable of the Good Samaritan, he was actually trying to point to the scholar of the law what is the real sense of the love of neighbor. The priest and the Levite were right in the legal sense by not touching the man because it would make them ritually impure. However, they followed the law blindly that they did not see the real need of the man. The law was written to guide man’s action but it should not limit to express love to the other. Our love for others must be as wide as God’s love which is unconditional; hence, nobody should be excluded.

The confrontation between the scholar of the law and Jesus did not simply end as an unresolved theological discussion. Because Jesus understood what he was saying, he was able to convey a message; thus, he asked his opponent to “go and do likewise.” (Fr. Genesis Velez, SVD Bible Diary 2007)

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“Just do it!” Nine exhorts everyone to engage in sports. It uses Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods to encourage everyone to get involved in sports and in doing so, buy Nike products.

In living our faith, like the Nike ad, we have no other way but “just do it!” this command was occasioned by a tricky question posed by a scholar of the law. The scholar was only interested in knowing how far Jesus really knew the Law.  A very good teacher that Jesus was, he used the parable of the Good Samaritan to shift the discourse from an intellectual exchange to an action stirring response.

Living the faith is doing the bidding of Yahweh which the gripping story of Jonah is telling us. We refuse God’s command at our own peril. Refusal to do God’s will is refusal to grow. In refusing God’s command to invite others to experience God’s loving forgiveness, we refuse our own development as God’s good news to others.

The readings for today tell us that we can only become messengers of God’s mercy and love if we turn our lives into a concrete example of God’s good news. No amount of scholarship, if used only to remove oneself from the action, can help. If we believe that we are God’s spoken word and that this word is spoken in love and if we understand that the function of words and language is not to inform but to evoke, then our lives as living Word of God can evoke mercy and love. Its effectiveness is in just doing it or should we say, living it. (Fr. Melchor Bernal, SVD Bible Diary 2009)

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“We make our friends,” wrote G.K. Chesterson, “we make our enemies but God makes our next door neighbor.” However, our neighbor need not be always the one who lives next door. To the question, “Who is my neighbor,” (v. 29), Jesus replies with a parable, answering, in effect, that our neighbor is anyone who is in need of our help. Often we excuse ourselves for not helping others by saying that the person is in such and such need, because of her or her own mistake. If we are prepared to imitate the Good Samaritan, we will not make such excuses. The secret of helping others is to treat them as we find them, not as they ought to be, not as we want them to be but as they actually are. After rendering the immediate help, later on, one can lift them up; but at the beginning, there must be acceptance. This is always the way of the physician. The more accurately he can diagnose the actual state of the patient, the better prepared he will be, to use his healing art. If however, we throw a book called How to make money at the unfortunate starving one, we are like a medical doctor who starts setting a broken bone, by reading to the patient a treatise on the dangerous effects of broken bones. (Vima Dasan, SJ Daily Homilies for Weekdays [Years 1 and 2], p. 129)

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THE GOOD VICTIM: The parable of the Good Samaritan is probably the most popular among the parables of Jesus. It is so popular that when we say, “Samaritan,” we automatically attach to it the word, “good.” I am sure you have heard many reflections about imitating the Good Samaritan and not imitating the student and the priest.

This morning, let us focus our attention, not on the negligent priest, not on the hard-nosed student and not on the Good Samaritan. Let us focus our attention on the victim of the robbery.

We can easily identify with the victim who was left on the road, half-dead, beaten, stripped and robbed. Isn’t it true that in our journey along the road of life, we have often felt stripped, robbed and left half-dead?

We may not have been robbed of material possessions. But many of us have been robbed of our self-esteem, our integrity and our good name. Many of us have been robbed because we were betrayed. Our trust was not reciprocated with trust. Our love was not reciprocated with selfless love. We have been stripped of our securities and in a manner of speaking, left half-dead along the road of life.

We thought that because we were left half-dead, people would take pity on us, particularly, friends and loved ones, whom we thought would always be there. But sometimes to our great disappointment, they let us down.

For example, in the parable, we expect the priest to be better than leave the victim on the road half-dead. But he thinks only of himself. Haven’t there been times when we were left half-dead on the road of life by friends we thought we could depend on in the hour of need. We approach them for help and they tell us, “Sorry, gusto ko pang mabuhay.

We have had friends who would tell us they would be our friends forever but when problems came, when the storms in our life came, when we were half-dead, hafd-naked and gasping for dear life, they would tell us, “I am too busy.”

On the other hand, there have been times when we have been left half-dead along the journey of life and unexpectedly, someone comes along whom we thought would never help us, and they do.  Sometimes, the person is a total stranger. But this same person, this same Samaritan in our lives, takes pity on us, says the right word at the right time, gives us what we need most, then unexpectedly, we are up and about again.

Let us see ourselves as the victim of the robbery. Now let us ask ourselves, who is the neighbor of the victim? The answer is, of course, the Samaritan, because he saved the life of the victim.

If the situation were reversed, and you saw the Good Samaritan lying on the road half-dead, wouldn’t you help him, out of a debt of gratitude? Even non-Christians would do that.

It is understandable if we are neighbors to those who have been neighbors to us. It is understandable if we are neighbors to those who have been neighbors to us. It is understandable if we are good to those who have been good to us.

But let us pursue the argument. What if the victim survived, then one day passed along the same road and saw the priest lying half-dead. What should the victim do about priest? He could very well say, “When I needed you, you didn’t help me at all.”

But the Christian victim is the one who will say, “Father, even if you refused to help me, even if you didn’t live up to my expectations when I most needed you, I am here to help you.”

Let us pursue the argument further. What if the victim survives and becomes a successful businessman. Then one day, he sees the man who robbed him lying on the road stabbed. The victim recognizes his robber. Will he say, “I will call the police?” will the victim say, “Anyway, you did me wrong once.”

The Christian victim, the good victim will say, “Look, I am willing to forgive and forget what you did to me. You are half-dead and my duty is to restore you back to life.”

The title of the gospel is not Good Samaritan. The title of the gospel is the parable of the good victim. We have all been victims. We have all been hurt. We have all been left half-dead in the woods. We all have had friends who did not help us when we most needed them. But we have also met strangers who came to our rescue and did or said the right thing at the right time and brought us back to life.

Brothers and sisters, are you a good victim? The perfect victim is one who says, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” This victim lives forever. (Socrates Villegas, Jesus Loves You, pp. 196-199).

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The parable of the Good Samaritan enables many points to be made. The punch line of the story might be lost on us. Its effect today would be as if Jesus concluded the story with the statement that the one who had helped the beaten man was a member of the PLO! One could hear a Jewish audience reacting. The point of the parable is that love is not calculating. It meets human need as it finds it. Secondly, status is not the guarantee of salvation. It is the good we do that ultimately counts. This is the Paul seeks to make it in his assertion that faith is more important than ritual circumcision.

The parables are usually stated in extreme terms to drive home a point while reminding us that we all fall short of perfection to cut off any claim to be self-righteous. Exclusive reliance on circumcision as an assurance of salvation could have precisely that effect. (Rev. S. Joseph Krempa, Daily Homilies Ordinary Time Year 2, p. 193)

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Jesus narrated the Parable of the Good Samaritan when he was asked about loving one’s neighbor. How does one love one’s neighbor? Who is one’s neighbor? Digesting the story of Jesus, the following insights come out regarding loving one’s neighbor:

  • Loving one’s neighbor flows from love of God, but one must desire and decide on it. Although Jesus taught that commandments of loving God and loving others are two sides of the same coin; they do not necessarily flow to the other. The priest and the Levite who passed by, no doubt loved God, but they failed to show love to their half-dead countryman. On the other hand, the Samaritan, a heretic, decided to approach the victimized man. He decided to postpone his schedules and attend to the need of the person first.
  • Loving one’s neighbor is reaching out beyond our biases. In deciding to help the waylaid Jew, the Samaritan went against his biases and the biases of generations of Jews and Samaritans. Think of this: sometimes we carved out our “convictions” and “principles” from our biases. We err in deciding on the basis of our biases as “deciding with conviction.” Sometimes, we have also to challenge our own hearts and minds!
  • Loving one’s neighbor is loving with one’s own hands and means. The Samaritan cleaned and bound up the wounds of the half-dead man using his own hands, his own oil and wine. He transported the man to the inn using his own beast, and he paid for the man in the inn using his own money. Charity must not be at the expense of other’s resources.
  • Loving one’s neighbor is concern not just of the present, but also of the future. The Goode Samaritan cared not only for the moment, so he said to the innkeeper, “Look after him and if there is any further expense I will pay you on my way back.” (Fr. Domie Guzman SSP New Every Morning New Everyday, pp. 295-296)

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“Go and do the same.” Several years ago the Chicago Tribune carried a tragic story. An eleven-year-old boy and his younger brother were victims of a hit-and-run driver. As the two boys lay dying on the highway, dozens of cars swerved around them, but no one stopped to help.

“I couldn’t believe it,” said one of the truckers who stopped. “I’m still shaken by it all. I can’t believe no one stopped until we did. And people still kept honking at us and telling us to push the bodies aside so they could get by. It was pretty nasty.”

The Parable of the Good Samaritan has as much relevance today as it did in biblical times.

Today’s reading invites us to ask ourselves: how do we respond to the needs of others when we’re in a hurry?

Today’s reading invites us to pray: Lord, help us realize that brotherhood isn’t a pie-in-the-sky dream. It’s a necessity if our world is going to strive (Illustrated Daily Homilies Weekdays by Mark Link SJ published 1987 p. 244).

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V. 29 But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” RESPECT FOR MAN (CCC 1931). Respect for human person proceeds by way of respect for the principle that everyone should look upon his neighbor (without exception) as another self, above all bearing in mind his life and the means necessary for living it with dignity. No legislation could by itself do away with the fears, prejudices and attitudes of pride and selfishness which obstruct the establishment of truly fraternal societies. Such behavior will cease only through charity that finds in every man a neighbor, a brother (Fr. Iko bajos)

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WORD Today: Jon1-2; Luke 10:25-37. In the 1st reading, God asked Jonah to help the people of Nineveh by telling them to repent. But Jonah refused. In his mind, he was already a good man, a faithful temple-goer and those evil Ninevites deserved punishment.

In the gospel, a man is lying badly beaten by thieves on a lonely road. Religious people just passed by and refused to help for they were in a hurry to worship at the Temple. Christ tells us that the greatest commandment is to love God and our neighbor too. Who is my neighbor? He is the driver trying to squeeze into my lane. He is the officemate asking for loan. He is the one who is unaware his sins are leading him to eternal punishment. He is anyone who needs a bit of our care, he for whom Christ died.

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MONDAY OF THE 27TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR A) – LUKAS 10:25-37. Hain man aning duha ang mas bililhong pangutana: “Kinsa man ang akong silingan?” o “Unsa man ako nga matang sa silingan? Ang unang pangutana maoy gipangutana sa magtutudlo sa balaod. Daghan kanato mas mopili aning pangutanaha kay kini magtuki man sa laing mga tawo. Kinsa man ang akong silingan? Kinsa man nila ang angay’ng higugmaon o angay’ng kaloy-an. Ang ikaduhang pangutana nagagikan kang Kristo ug maoy Iyang gusto nga atong ipangutana sa kaugalingon. Unsa man ako nga matang sa silingan? Daghan kanato dili ganahan aning pangutanaha tungod kay kini maghagit man kanato sa pagtan-aw sa kaugalingon. Unsa man ako kamahigugmaon? Aduna ba akoy kasingkasing nga makamaong malooy? Molihok ba ako aron pagtabang sa mga naglisod? Puno sa kamapaubsanon, ato kining tubagon Posted by Abet Uy

abetuy.blogspot.com/2014/10/monday-of-27th-week-in-ordinary-time.html

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Sunday, October 4, 2015

MONDAY OF THE 27TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR B) – LUKAS 10:25-37. HAIN MAN NING DUHA ANG MAS BILILHONG PANGUTANA: “KINSA MAN ANG AKONG SILINGAN?” O “UNSA MAN AKO NGA MATANG SA SILINGAN?” Ang una maoy gipangutana sa magtutudlo sa balaod. Daghan kanato mas mopili ning pangutanaha kay kini magtuki man sa laing mga tawo. Kinsa man ang akong silingan? Kinsa man kanila ang angay’ng higugmaon o kaloy-an. Ang ikaduhang pangutana nagagikan kang Kristo ug maoy Iyang gusto nga atong ipangutana sa kaugalingon. Unsa man ako nga matang sa silingan ngadto sa uban? Daghan kanato dili ganahan ning pangutanaha tungod kay kini maghagit man kanato sa pagtan-aw sa kaugalingon. Unsa man ako kamahigugmaon? Molihok ba ako aron pagtabang sa mga naglisod? Adunay nag-ingon, “Loving your neighbor means helping those in need even if they don’t live next door.” Posted by Abet Uy

abetuy.blogspot.com/2015/10/monday-of-27th-week-in-ordinary-time.html

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Sunday, October 2, 2016

MONDAY OF THE 27TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME – LUKAS 10:25-37. HAIN MAN NING DUHA ANG MAS BILILHONG PANGUTANA: “KINSA MAN ANG AKONG SILINGAN?” O “UNSA MAN AKO NGA MATANG SA SILINGAN?” Ang una maoy gipangutana sa magtutudlo sa balaod. Daghan kanato mas mopili ning pangutanaha kay kini magtuki man sa laing mga tawo. Kinsa man ang akong silingan? Kinsa man kanila ang angay’ng higugmaon o kaloy-an. Ang ikaduhang pangutana nagagikan kang Kristo ug maoy Iyang gusto nga atong ipangutana sa kaugalingon. Unsa man ako nga matang sa silingan ngadto sa uban? Daghan kanato dili ganahan ning pangutanaha tungod kay kini maghagit man kanato sa pagtan-aw sa kaugalingon. Unsa man ako kamahigugmaon? Molihok ba ako aron pagtabang sa mga naglisod? Si Henri Nouwen nag-ingon, “We become neighbors when we are willing to cross the road for one another.” Posted by Abet Uy

abetuy.blogspot.com/2016/10/monday-of-27th-week-in-ordinary-time.html

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Monday, October 5, 2015

Reflection for October 5, Monday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 10:25-37

Reflection: Is there such a word as perfect love? Yes, there is it’s when we are able to live our love for God and neighbor. To love God is to worship Him with all our being and to love our neighbor is to humanize our love for God.

It was very ironic that the priest who was supposed to be a lover of God failed to humanize his love for God same as with the Levite who was also involved in the service for God. Both the priest and the Levite failed the test of true love and discipleship because they simply ignored the man in need of their help.

They might have reasons for ignoring the man in need but whatever reasons that they may have don’t justify their indifference. What if the Samaritan did not pass by? The victim may have died due to the indifference of the two.

It was good that the exemplar of perfect love (Samaritan) passed by otherwise the victim might have bleed to his death.

Many of us who love and worship God fails to translate this love to a love for our fellowmen, some of us are able to translate this love for God to a love for our neighbor but we oftentimes limit our love for our neighbor to those whom we only know and to those who are only good to us.

If the person in need of our help is alien and not good to us we just pass them by and ignore them just like what the priest and Levite did. Jesus urges us to follow the example of the Good Samaritan who exemplified prefect love, who took care of the victim even if he doesn’t know him.

Are you willing to listen to this urgings of Jesus? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

mjdasma.blogspot.com/2015/10/reflection-for-october-5-monday-of.html

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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Reflection for Monday October 3, Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time; Luke 10:25-37

Reflection: How do we express our love for God and neighbor?

It is by caring for those who are in need no matter who they may be. For so long as they’re in need we should help them but there are those who are so withdrawn that even if they’re in need they find it hard to ask for help. There are people who are like this; they’re in need but they don’t ask for help because of low self-esteem and shyness.

What should we do? We must be sensitive to their plight, we must not be stonehearted we should help without being asked for help.

The question of the scholar of the law is perhaps also our question before Jesus: How can we inherit eternal life? And Jesus referred them to what was written in the law; Love of God and love of our neighbor; these are the two keys to have eternal life.

Jesus further reinforced these two teachings with a story of a man who was victimized by robbers. As he lay half-dead a priest followed by a Levite both prominent people passed by but they did not lift a finger to help him. Afterwards a Samaritan came and he surprisingly helped the man, then not content with helping him the Samaritan brought the man to an inn to be properly nursed there.

It’s not enough to say, we love God and our neighbors for these are mere words that are empty. We put life and meaning to these two greatest commandments when we become like the Samaritan. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

mjdasma.blogspot.com/2016/09/reflection-for-monday-october-3-twenty.html

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“LOVE, AND DO WHAT YOU WILL” – Today, the road from Jerusalem to Jericho is a well-asphalted road where  cars and buses speed down to probably the oldest constantly occupied city in the world, 258 meters below sea level. Once, I traveled the ancient dirt road, which leads to the Judean wilderness — no car, no people, just some goats and a camel or two, here and there. To be honest, it was a bit scary to travel there and I could imagine how travelers in ancient times on this lonely desert road “fell victim to robbers.”

The well-known parable of the Good Samaritan is a beautiful illustration of Christ’s commandment to love one’s neighbor, even one’s enemy. It is a difficult commandment to follow because we all know how hard it is to love an enemy. But for the first listeners, this parable must have been shocking. Why?

The religious leaders, the priest and the Levite pass by the poor man and don’t help at all. But it is a Samaritan, so hated and despised by the Jews, whom Jesus puts as model before them. And how he helps! He stops, puts himself in danger of also being attacked by the robbers, applies wine for disinfection and oil for healing of the wounds. He brings the injured man to an inn and pays quite a big amount, seeing to it that the innkeeper will take care of the man until he has fully recovered. For the Jews, he was a “heretic,” but he made the love of God visible. No wonder, Pope Francis shocked many in the first months of his papacy when he said that God’s mercy and love is limitless and that even atheists have the chance to be saved.

At the Last Judgment, God will not ask us about how much money we have in our bank accounts or how many houses and cars we have. His only question will be: How much have you loved?

St. Augustine wrote: “Once for all, then, a short precept is given you: Love, and do what you will.” Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD

REFLECTION QUESTION: Do you love only those who are good to you, or do you also love those who hurt and harm you?

Lord, You have given us the perfect example of how it is to love. You died for me, a sinner.

Thank You, Lord, and let me never forget this truth.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2015-10-05

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THE TRUE NEIGHBOR – One of man’s deepest desires is to achieve eternal life. It is a genuine life, a life we can attain and enjoy even before we die.

In today’s Gospel, a lawyer comes to Jesus and asks Him how he can possess eternal life. Recognizing the test, Jesus replies with what the Law prescribes. That is, love of God and neighbor (cf. Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18). The lawyer then goes on with another inquiry regarding the neighbor’s identity.

Instead of answering the lawyer’s question, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus redirects the inquiry: “Who acted as a neighbor?” From the question of neighbor as object of love, Jesus makes the neighbor as the subject of love.

For Jesus, a neighbor is someone who attends to any person in need, whatever his or her color, race, nationality, religion or social background may be. Loving one’s neighbor is responding to a person’s need, wherever they are found. It is not just feeling the other’s pain and suffering but being moved to help relieve it.

When I was in Tacloban during the Papal Visit in 2015, I met a priest who recounted his parish’s story of survival. His parish was severely hit by Typhoon Yolanda. For weeks, relief goods had been scarce and wanting. Loneliness and helplessness began to creep in until an imam from Mindanao acted as “good Samaritan.” He sent them food supplies and medicines, just enough to sustain them for two weeks.

The Dalai Lama once quipped, “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”

Love of God and love of neighbor are two sides of the same coin. We cannot fully find our true self — as God’s beloved — except through a sincere gift of our self to others (cf Gaudium et Spes, 24). Fr. Paolo Asprer

REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Remember an instance when you helped someone in need. How did you feel? And then remember an instance when you turned your back on someone in need. How did you feel? What insight did you gain?

Lord Jesus, Your compassion is perfect. Grant me a compassionate heart for the needy. Amen.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2016-10-03

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October 5, 2015

Monday of the 27th Week in the Ordinary Time B

Jonah 1:1 – 2, 2:1, 11, Lk 10:25-37

The Neighbour in You

Love God and love your neighbour. It is the fundamental rule of Christian life. All our actions are to be directed to satisfy this norm of Christian life.

Jesus would teach us that loving God and loving the neighbour are not two actions, but one single action of love. Loving the neighbour who is immediately close to you is equal to loving God who is unseen and beyond your grasp. Moreover, if you claim that you love God without loving your neighbour, you have missed both and you are a hypocrite.

The parable of the Good Samaritan illustrates the hypocritical attitude of the priest and the Levite who avoid the wounded man, even though they are appointed for God’s service. Seeing the man in need they passed by the other side of the road.

Jesus would also give us the definition of a neighbour in the person of the Good Samaritan who stopped by the man who lay half-dead. It is the Samaritan that proved himself to be a good neighbour to the man in need. In the same way, if we do acts of compassion, we become neighbours to others. There is no need of searching for a neighbour. The neighbour is within you. It is an awareness within you that is awakened to action in situations of human need.  The neighbour is the voice of God who calls you to meet him in the fellow human beings.

Jesus asks at the end of the parable: “Which of the three do you think, proved neighbour to the man who fell among the robbers?” The lawyer answered: “The one who showed mercy on him”. The Samaritan showed mercy and he became a good neighbour. Being a neighbour is simultaneously discovering a neighbour in the other person. One cannot be a neighbour without having a neighbour. It is the discovery of oneself in the other. There is no other way of attaining self-fulfilment. Dr. Sebastian Elavathingal CMI

navchetana.com/web/homilies.php?date=2015-10-5

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Jesus Breaks the Habit of Putting Limits on Our Love

October 5, 2015 (readings)

Monday of the Twenty-Seventh Week in Ordinary Time

Father James Swanson, LC

Luke 10:25-37

Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, you are the master of the universe, and yet you wish to listen to me and guide me. You know all things past, present and future, and yet you respect my freedom to choose you. Holy Trinity, you are completely happy and fulfilled on your own, and yet you have generously brought us into existence. You are our fulfillment. Thank you for the gift of yourself. I offer the littleness of myself in return, knowing you are pleased with what I have to give.

Petition: Lord, help me to be like the Good Samaritan.

  1. Love Our Neighbor Above Ourselves:The people listening to Jesus would all admit that they should love God above all things. Maybe many didn’t practice it well, but they at least pretended to love him outwardly by living his commandments. Love of neighbor was another matter. The Jewish Law of the Talion put a limit on vengeful action: “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” But Jesus wants to take things to a whole new level – the level of brotherly love. He wants us to live a love for others inspired by the love he showed for us on the cross. We were his enemies, addicted to sin. He owed us nothing, yet he died for our sake. In times past, it was common to abuse the poor and the handicapped as people cursed by God on account of some sin. Now, Jesus proposes to love all, regardless of their condition. Do I strive to love this way?
  2. It’s Not Enough to Love Those Close to Me:Probably most of us, like those listening to Jesus, accept that we need to love and serve God, and obey the commandments. But when it comes to loving others, we fail. Sometimes it seems that I have a difficult time loving even those who are closest to me. Those I see on a daily basis are often the ones that have to bear the worst in me. They suffer the most from my impatience, anger and lack of self-control. Why does this happen? Is it because the love I have for my family and closest friends is a selfish love? Is it because I am looking for what they can do for me instead of what I could be doing for them? Love’s response should always be that I haven’t done enough, that I can never do enough – because real love has no limits.
  3. Love Your Enemies:Jesus also asks us to love our enemies. In the parable, the victim receives help from someone he, as a Jew, would have considered to be inferior and an enemy – a Samaritan. Although their lands were adjoining, historical circumstances caused them to carry grudges against each other and avoid each other as much as possible. Yet it is a Samaritan whom Jesus makes the hero of the parable. In seeing the man’s distress, and stopping to help and care for him, Jesus makes him the image of himself. St. Augustine says that the Samaritan represents Jesus and the victim represents humanity. When we couldn’t help ourselves, when we were estranged from God’s friendship because of our sins, God in his love stopped to help us. This is the love Jesus wants us to practice – the same love he practiced on the cross. “Go and do likewise,” he tells us.

Conversation with Christ: Lord, I am sorry for accepting your love for me on the cross while failing to love others in the same way. Don’t let me get discouraged by my little daily setbacks as I try to love more, but encourage me to be more like you, to be a Good Samaritan to all I meet.

Resolution: I will remove the limits I have placed on loving someone close to me – my spouse, children, parents, brothers and sisters, close friends, co-workers – and be patient and understanding at moments when I don’t feel like loving.

epriest.com/reflections/view/533

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October 03, 2016

REFLECTION: Today’s gospel reading presents the Parable of the Good Samaritan, one of the most famous parables of Jesus, and rightly so because it is a literary gem full of twists and turns.

In this story we must not be too surprised that the priest going down the road to Jericho passes on to the other side. He is probably just returning from performing his priestly duties in the temple of Jerusalem. Now, since the victim of the robbers is probably unconscious and bleeding, the priest might suspect that the victim is dead. If that is the case and he approaches the man nearer than four cubits, he will incur ritual defilement and will have to go back to Jerusalem for purification. Besides, maybe the robbers are hiding nearby and waiting to pounce on whoever would stop to help the victim. Finally, the victim might be a sinner, or even one of those accursed Samaritans! But since the Writings (Sir 12:1-7) forbid good Jews to help sinners, it seems wiser not to stop. And so, the priest moves on.

When we want to avoid doing a good action, do we not often act like this priest and rationalize our hardness of heart by a thousand flimsy excuses?

schoolofthewordonline.com/scriptural-library/daily-gospel/english/item/3662-october-03-2016

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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

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