July 14th: Fifthteen Sunday in Ordinary Time
Dear Parish Family,
Today’s Gospel story is simple and we are familiar with it. We know that the Samaritan demonstrates what it means to be a neighbor and we want to be good neighbors. The law of God invites us to love God and love our neighbor. We do not know why the priest and the Levite did not stop to help the injured man, but we do know why the Samaritan stopped to help the injured man: he was moved with compassion. We want to be compassionate neighbors. To be compassionate means that we are willing to suffer with those who are suffering. The Samaritan was willing to suffer and willing to sacrifice for the injured man. His act of charity cost him. It cost him wine, oil, and bandages made of cloth. It cost him comfort on the journey because he gave the injured man his own place on the animal he was riding. It cost him the two silver coins that he gave to the innkeeper, and whatever he would pay on his return. And it cost him the most precious gift that we can give to another: it cost him time. The Samaritan was willing to suffer with the suffering. That is what it means to be a neighbor.
And that is part of what it means to be a follower of the Lord Jesus. We suffer with the suffering. In union with Christ who suffered for us, we suffer with the poor, the injured, the sick, the rejected, and the dying. We suffer with those who have been cast to the side of the road in our society: the unborn, the immigrant, the elderly, the mentally ill, and the disabled. Each of us was marked with the sign of Christ’s glorious sufferings in our baptism. Every vocation is marked with the blessing of Christ’s holy cross. Mothers suffer with and for their children. Fathers suffering with and for their families. Teachers suffer with and for their students. Priests suffer with and for their people, and the holy people of God suffer with and for their priests. We are the neighbors, and we are the people Christ calls us to be when we are willing to suffer with and for their children. But we were not the first to suffer. We suffer in union with Christ on the cross. For in truth, we are not the Good Samaritan in the parable. We are the injured man. Christ our Savior traveling to the road to the heavenly city of Jerusalem looked and was moved with compassion for each of us. Jesus approached us, bathed us in the wine of his blood and anointed us with the oil of gladness. He carried us in his own body and placed us in the inn which is his holy Church. He left the two precious coins of his Word and strengthened to suffer with Christ and for Christ who willing, lovingly and compassionately suffered for us. (hprweb.com)
God bless you all!
Sister Maria Inviolata, SMDG