READINGS for 2009-10-05
THE SAmARITAN SToRy RETolD
“Likewise, a Levite came to the place and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.” – Luke 10:32
On my way to a cement plant in Bulacan, I saw these directional signs: Norzagaray Turn Left. Poblacion Turn Right. Paradise Straight Ahead.
How I wish it was this easy to go to heaven, just like going to a swimming resort. The Good Samaritan is one instructional story on how to go to heaven. In today’s increasingly complex and secular world, the story of the Levite, a priest, speaks to us because he knew the right thing to do but didn’t do it.
The world and the devil have easily muddled what is right with their many fallacies. They justify a wrongdoing with the bandwagon mentality — if everybody is doing it, then it must be right. Brazen lies, like the end justifies the means, have become the norm.
But God’s truth is absolute and doesn’t change with time or popular opinion. By aligning our thinking with the Word of God we will know that we are headed in the right direction towards heaven.Rolly España
Do you act like the Levite, who knows the right thing to do but does not do it?
Lord, help me do Your will and not my own.
We have all heard of the story of Jonah. Did it really happen? Was a man really swallowed by a huge fish and spewed out onto the shores of a foreign land in order that he could then go and preach repentance to a sinful people? I do not know and I do not really care! It could have happened because with God all things are possible. Even if it did not happen, the message of God’s power and love that comes through the story still stands. What matters is that we are willing to learn the lesson God wants to teach us through the life of Jonah!
Jonah 1:1–2:1-2. 11
1 This is the word of the LORD that came to Jonah, son of Amittai: 2 “Set out for the great city of Nineveh, and preach against it; their wickedness has come up before me.” 3 But Jonah made ready to flee to Tarshish away from the LORD. He went down to Joppa, found a ship going to Tarshish, paid the fare, and went aboard to journey with them to Tarshish, away from the LORD. 4 The LORD, however, hurled a violent wind upon the sea, and in the furious tempest that arose the ship was on the point of breaking up. 5 Then the mariners became frightened and each one cried to his god. To lighten the ship for themselves, they threw its cargo into the sea. Meanwhile, Jonah had gone down into the hold of the ship, and lay there fast asleep. 6 The captain came to him and said, “What are you doing asleep? Rise up, call upon your God! Perhaps God will be mindful of us so that we may not perish.” 7 Then they said to one another, “Come, let us cast lots to find out on whose account we have met with this misfortune.” So they cast lots, and thus singled out Jonah. 8 “Tell us,” they said, “what is your business? Where do you come from? What is your country, and to what people do you belong?” 9 Jonah answered them, “I am a Hebrew, I worship the LORD, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.” 10 Now the men were seized with great fear and said to him, “How could you do such a thing!” — They knew that he was fleeing from the LORD, because he had told them — 11 “What shall we do with you,” they asked, “that the sea may quiet down for us?” For the sea was growing more and more turbulent. 12 Jonah said to them, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea, that it may quiet down for you; since I know it is because of me that this violent storm has come upon you.” 13 Still the men rowed hard to regain the land, but they could not, for the sea grew ever more turbulent. 14 Then they cried to the LORD: “We beseech you, O LORD, let us not perish for taking this man’s life; do not charge us with shedding innocent blood, for you, LORD, have done as you saw fit.” 15 Then they took Jonah and threw him into the sea, and the sea’s raging abated. 16 Struck with great fear of the LORD, the men offered sacrifice and made vows to him. 2: 1 But the LORD sent a large fish, that swallowed Jonah; and he remained in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. 2 From the belly of the fish Jonah said this prayer to the LORD, his God. 11 Then the LORD commanded the fish to spew Jonah upon the shore.
P S A L M
Jonah 2:3. 4. 5. 8
R: You will rescue my life from the pit, O Lord.
3 Out of my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me; From the midst of the nether world I cried for help, and you heard my voice. (R) 4 For you cast me into the deep, into the heart of the sea, and the flood enveloped me; All your breakers and your billows passed over me. (R) 5 Then I said, “I am banished from your sight! yet would I again look upon your holy temple.” (R) 8 When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the LORD; My prayer reached you in your holy temple. (R)
G O S P E L
The parable of the Good Samaritan reminds us of our duty towards our neighbor. Love of neighbor is not simply a matter of choice, but a duty of love, and a demand of the Christian faith. It does not mean that we are obliged to solve all the problems in our neighbor’s life, but where there is the possibility of concrete assistance , more often than not, it is a matter of a duty to be performed, not a choice to be made. Perhaps one way of looking at the question is to put ourselves in the place of the needy and suffering and ask how we would want to be treated by others.
25 There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test him and said, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read it?” 27 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.” 28 He replied to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.” 29 But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man fell victim to robbers as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down that road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. 32 Likewise a Levite came to the place, and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. 33 But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight. 34 He approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them. Then he lifted him up on his own animal, took him to an inn and cared for him. 35 The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction, ‘Take care of him. If you spend more than what I have given you, I shall repay you on my way back.’ 36 Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?” 37 He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
think:Let us put ourselves in the place of the needy and suffering and ask how we would want to be treated by others.
God’s special verse/thought for me today________________
T O D A Y ’ S BLESSING LIST
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Sirach 27-30
WhO is my neighbOR?
The Jewish expert in the law understood “neighbor” to mean only his fellow Jews who belonged to the same covenant which God had made with Israel. The average Jew would not regard the Samaritans as neighbors but as outsiders. In a way, Jesus agreed with the sincere expert but challenged him to learn that God’s view of neighbor went beyond his narrow definition. Christ’s understanding of “neighbor” admits of no borders. Thus to the question “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus’ answer is: Anyone and everyone without exception.
By the way, the traveler in the parable should not have travelled alone, for that road was notoriously dangerous. But Christ makes us aware that we should be willing to help even if people through their own fault brought trouble on themselves. The Samaritan did all that had to be done that moment: emergency treatment of the wounds and rest until the man recovers. Here Jesus tells us that our love and concern to help others in need must be practical. Jesus wants us to be ready to do good to others for their sake, just as God is good to us.
Who then is my neighbor who deserves my intense love? And what shall I do?
Pope Benedict XVI reflects on thisnparable in his book Jesus of Nazareth, “Aren’t we surrounded by people who have been robbed and battered? The victims of drugs, of human trafficking, of sex tourism, inwardly devastated people who sit empty in the midst of material abundance. All this is of concern to us; it calls us to have the eye and the heart of a neighbor, and to have the courage to love our neighbor, too… The risk of goodness we have to relearn from within, but we can do that only if we ourselves become good from within, if we ourselves are “neighbors” from within, and if we then have an eye for the sort of service that is asked of us, that it is possible for us, and it is therefore also expected of us, in our environment and within the wider ambit of our lives” (p. 199). Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD
Who is my neighbor right now, the person who needs all of my attention and help?
Lord, change my heart and make me a neighbor from within that any good work I do becomes an offshoot of a loving heart, a heart that is becoming more like Your heart.
Blessed Flora of Beaulieu, Virgin, pray for us.
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