Monday, October 6, 2014
27th Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Gal 1:6-12
Gospel: Luke 10:25-37
A teacher of the Law came and began putting Jesus to the test. And he said, “Master, what shall I do to receive eternal life?” Jesus replied, “What is written in the Scripture? How do you understand it?” The man answered, “It is written: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and with all your mind. And you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus replied, “What a good answer! Do this and you shall live.” The man wanted to keep up appearances, so he replied, “Who is my neighbor?”
Jesus then said, “There was a man going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him, beat him and went off leaving him half-dead.
“It happened that a priest was going along that road and saw the man, but passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite saw the man and passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, too, was going that way, and when he came upon the man, he was moved with compassion. He went over to him and treated his wounds with oil and wine and wrapped them with bandages. Then he put him on his own mount and brought him to an inn where he took care of him.
“The next day he had to set off, but he gave two silver coins to the innkeeper and told him: ‘Take care of him and whatever you spend on him, I will repay when I come back.’”
Jesus then asked, “Which of these three, do you think, made himself neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The teacher of the Law answered, “The one who had mercy on him.” And Jesus said, “Go then and do the same.”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
The Jews believed that salvation was exclusive to them as a people. Jesus challenged this belief by constructing a story around a hero who was not a Jew but a Gentile. He declared that it was neither the priest nor the Levite (both were Jews) but a Gentile (the Samaritan) who fulfilled the Commandment.
To a Jew, the priest and the Levite deserved commendation, not condemnation. They were only observing the law on ritual purity which prohibited physical contact with the dead. They were even observing it to perfection, so to speak, because they did not take chances on the victim who in all appearances was as good as dead. Wasn’t it unfair that the priest and the Levite who were only observing the law should be compared to a Gentile who was not covered by the same law and was therefore not bound to observe it?
But the law on ritual purity was beside Jesus’ point. The story was not meant to refute the validity of the law on ritual purity but to show who among the characters responded to the situation with love. The story was meant not to attack the law but to put love higher than the law on ritual purity. Later Jesus would enshrine love as the greatest of all the Commandments. – Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: www.frdan.org.
Prayer of the day: God our Father, make us meek and humble of heart so that we may excel in the commandment of love. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
SAINT OF THE DAY: ST. BRUNO, founder of the Carthusian Order, was born in Cologne in 1030. After his ordination he successfully taught for 18 years at the Cathedral School of Rheims. He gave to the Church eminent scholars. He retired to a hermitage in 1074 with a few companions and later transferred to a mountainous and inaccessible forest where the so called Carthusian Order was born. They built a chapel for common prayer and small cells for each of them. They were poor and they only have a silver chalice and a common library. Their work was to copy books by which they became famous throughout Europe. He died in 1101.