Seeing

“Go and do likewise.” This seems like a pretty clear command from Jesus. Go about your day and life, showing mercy, being a merciful person. As Moses says in the first reading this command is not mysterious, hidden, something remote and inaccessible. Just do it! ….So… are you a merciful person? Yes? No? Sometimes? Hopefully we at least reach the “sometimes” rating. Jesus’ dialogue with the scholar, in a way, held up a new standard for him to follow: the 10 commandments are great – follow them – but, as St. Paul says, without love, without mercy, those commandments are just clanging gongs and clashing symbols. Just noise. Continue reading

Why a Samaritan?

This coming Sunday our gospel is the well known story called the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). In yesterday’s post we see the “Good Samaritan” coming to the aid of the beaten man who was left for dead on the roadside. In this parable, why would Jesus choose a Samaritan to be the “hero” of the story? Brian Stoffregen has interesting insights into this answer: Continue reading

The Parable

This coming Sunday our gospel is the well known story called the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). In yesterday’s post the questions from the scholar continue, moving on to an inquiry about who is (or is not) a neighbor whom one is to love. It is at this point that the parable begins. Culpepper [229] identified the central character as being noticeably undefined. He is not characterized by race, religion, region, or trade. He is merely “a certain man” who by implication could be any one of Jesus’ hearers. The phrase “a certain man” (anthrōpos tis), however, will become a common feature of the Lukan parables (12:16; 14:2, 16; 15:11; 16:1, 19; 19:12; 20:9). Jesus’ audience no doubt imagined the man to be Jewish, but Luke’s audience may have assumed he was a Gentile. The point is that he is identified only by what happened to him. Continue reading

Neighbors

This coming Sunday our gospel is the well known story called the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). In yesterday’s post Jesus’ dialogue with the scholar goes well. Jesus accepts the scholar’s answer: “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.” But there are more questions: But because he wished to justify himself… And who is my neighbor?” One wonders why the scholar did not “quit while he was ahead?” Continue reading

A Question About Eternal Life

This coming Sunday our gospel is the well known story called the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). In yesterday’s post we placed the gospel in the context of the ongoing mission of the disciples that was highlighted in the previous Sunday’s gospel. The parable begins with a question: There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test him and said, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”  Continue reading

Seeing

This coming Sunday is the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Our gospel is the well known story called the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). In the flow of Luke’s gospel, just before the telling of this parable, Jesus had commissioned 72 disciples and sent them out of mission. In Luke 10:17 the disciples return with reports of great things being accomplished in the name and power of God. Jesus responds to their reports Continue reading

Doing something about it

“Go and do likewise.” This seems like a pretty clear command from Jesus. You just heard the parable of the Good Samaritan, so what is it that you are to go and do likewise? Clearly the context for the parable is Jesus’ effort to tease out the scholar of the law what it means to love God and to love one’s neighbor – that’s the theory of it, but what are practical elements of the divine command? The scholar of the law never gets to that “because he wished to justify himself.” He asks Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” And that is where the proverbial rubber hits the road. Even if the scholar figures out who his neighbor is, there are the practical matters of “doing.” Jesus words punctuate the ending: “Go and do likewise.” Continue reading

How do we see them?

good_samaritanI am away from the parish celebrating the baptism of a college classmate’s first grandchild. I thought it good to leave you with some words from another time reflecting on our Sunday readings.


“Go and do likewise.” This seems like a pretty clear command from Jesus. You just heard the parable of the Good Samaritan, so what is it that you are to go and do likewise? Clearly the context for the parable is Jesus’ effort to tease out the scholar of the law what it means to love God and to love one’s neighbor – that’s the theory of it, but what are practical elements of the divine command? The scholar of the law never gets to that “because he wished to justify himself.” He asks Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” And that is where the proverbial rubber hits the road. Even if the scholar figures out who his neighbor is, there are the practical matters of “doing.” Jesus words punctuate the ending: “Go and do likewise.” Continue reading

The Good Samaritan

This coming Sunday marks our journey in Ordinary Time, the 15th Sunday in Year C. You can read a complete commentary on the Sunday Gospel here.

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?” Continue reading