Daily Reflection – July 10, 2016
Sunday 10 July 2016
First Reading: Deuteronomy 30:10-14
Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live
Psalm 68(69):14, 17, 30-31, 33-34, 36-37
Second Reading: Colossians 1:15-20
Gospel Reading: Luke 10:25-37
Today’s Note: Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test him and said,
“Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law?
How do you read it?”
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.”
He replied to him, “You have answered correctly;
do this and you will live.”
But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus,
“And who is my neighbor?”
“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.
A priest happened to be going down that road,
but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
Likewise a Levite came to the place,
and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him
was moved with compassion at the sight.
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.
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.’
Which of these three, in your opinion,
was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?”
He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.”
Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
You shall love . . . your neighbor as yourself. (Luke 10:27)
Think about the last time you or someone you take care of caught the flu. You probably stopped the normal course of daily life in order to deal with the illness. Now think about the Samaritan in this well-known parable. He was no less busy than the priest or the Levite who had passed by the wounded man in the street. He wasn’t just wandering along the road; he was going about business.
The Samaritan’s business, though, wasn’t the most important thing to him. No, more important was his willingness to look at the beaten man and suffer with him—not physically, but in his heart and thoughts. Compassion welled up in him and took precedence over his plans. And so, a man’s life was saved.
No matter who we are or where we live, we all face the same question: “Is the normal course of my day more important than the suffering I see around me?” You don’t have to go looking high and low for it; you will come across it as you go about your everyday life. Perhaps someone you meet has been robbed of confidence or joy. Maybe someone seems beaten and overwhelmed by financial challenges or marital troubles. Maybe someone is living as one left for dead, lonely and alone. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you see these people as he does, to hear what they aren’t saying, and to have the compassion to stop and be a “neighbor.”
When you stop to take care of someone, to suffer with them, you are doing far more than offering human kindness. You are becoming a vessel for Christ. He is ministering at that very moment—to both of you!
Repeatedly in the Gospels, we read, “Jesus had compassion”—because people were harassed, helpless, sick, blind, or anxious. The reason didn’t matter; their suffering moved him, and he acted. Now he is telling all of us, “Go and do likewise” (Luke 10:37).
“Holy Spirit, open my eyes to the hurting people around me. Make room in my heart for compassion to overflow.”