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Catholic Caucus: Sunday Mass Readings, 07-11-10, Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time American Bible ^ | 07-11-10 | New American Bible

Posted on 07/10/2010 9:44:02 PM PDT by Salvation

July 11, 2010

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time


Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Reading 2

Reading 1

Dt 30:10-14

Moses said to the people:
"If only you would heed the voice of the LORD, your God,
and keep his commandments and statutes
that are written in this book of the law,
when you return to the LORD, your God,
with all your heart and all your soul.

"For this command that I enjoin on you today
is not too mysterious and remote for you.
It is not up in the sky, that you should say,
'Who will go up in the sky to get it for us
and tell us of it, that we may carry it out?'
Nor is it across the sea, that you should say,
'Who will cross the sea to get it for us
and tell us of it, that we may carry it out?'
No, it is something very near to you,
already in your mouths and in your hearts;
you have only to carry it out."

R. (cf. 33) Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.
I pray to you, O LORD,
for the time of your favor, O God!
In your great kindness answer me
with your constant help.
Answer me, O LORD, for bounteous is your kindness:
in your great mercy turn toward me.
R. Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.
I am afflicted and in pain;
let your saving help, O God, protect me.
I will praise the name of God in song,
and I will glorify him with thanksgiving.
R. Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.
"See, you lowly ones, and be glad;
you who seek God, may your hearts revive!
For the LORD hears the poor,
and his own who are in bonds he spurns not."
R. Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.
For God will save Zion
and rebuild the cities of Judah.
The descendants of his servants shall inherit it,
and those who love his name shall inhabit it.
R. Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.


Ps 19:8, 9, 10, 11

R. (9a) Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul;
the decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
giving wisdom to the simple.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the command of the LORD is clear,
enlightening the eye.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever;
the ordinances of the LORD are true,
all of them just.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
They are more precious than gold,
than a heap of purest gold;
sweeter also than syrup
or honey from the comb.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.

Reading 2

Christ Jesus is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn of all creation.
For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth,
the visible and the invisible,
whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers;
all things were created through him and for him.
He is before all things,
and in him all things hold together.
He is the head of the body, the church.
He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead,
that in all things he himself might be preeminent.
For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell,
and through him to reconcile all things for him,
making peace by the blood of his cross
through him, whether those on earth or those in heaven.


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?"
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.
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."


TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
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For your reading, reflection, faith-sharing, comments, questions, discussion.

1 posted on 07/10/2010 9:44:06 PM PDT by Salvation
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Comment #2 Removed by Moderator

To: All
The Sunday Liturgy supercedes a saint's memorial, but undoubtedly it is a great Sunday in all Benedictine monasteries!

St. Benedict of Nursia
Feast Day: July 11

480, Norcia (Umbria, Italy)

Died: 21 March 547 at Monte Cassino, Italy
Canonized: 1220
Major Shrine:

Monte Cassino Abbey, with his burial


Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire, near Orléans, France

Sacro Speco, at Subiaco, Italy

Patron of: Against poison, Against witchcraft, Cavers, Civil engineers, Coppersmiths, Dying people, Erysipelas, Europe, Farmers, Fever, Gall stones, Inflammatory diseases, Italian architects, Kidney disease, Monks, Nettle rash, Schoolchildren, Servants who have broken their master's belongings, Speliologists, Spelunkers, Temptations

3 posted on 07/10/2010 9:48:47 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Just a reminder. Caucus threads are closed to any poster who is not a member of the caucus.

For instance, if it says “Catholic Caucus” and you are not Catholic, do not post to the thread. However, if the poster of the caucus invites you, I will not boot you from the thread.

The “caucus” article and posts must not compare beliefs or speak in behalf of a belief outside the caucus.

4 posted on 07/10/2010 9:54:28 PM PDT by Admin Moderator
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5 posted on 07/10/2010 9:57:28 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: nickcarraway; Lady In Blue; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; Catholicguy; RobbyS; markomalley; ...
Alleluia Ping!

Please notify me via FReepmail if you would like to be added to or taken off the Alleluia Ping List.

6 posted on 07/10/2010 9:59:36 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Holy Rule of St. Benedict
St. Benedict and St. Scholastica (Twins)
Jubilee Medal of St. Benedict [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus}
On St. Benedict of Norcia
St.Benedict And His Order: A Brief History

Today's the Feast of St. Benedict
Applying St. Benedict's Rule to Fatherhood and Family Life - Using 6th-Century Wisdom Today
Saint Benedict-Abbot, Founder of Western Monasticism-480-550 AD
The Jubilee Medal of St. Benedict
Moritur et Ridet

7 posted on 07/10/2010 10:01:06 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Continuing to pray for priests.

Jesus, High Priest
Jesus. High Priest


We thank you, God our Father, for those who have responded to your call to priestly ministry.

Accept this prayer we offer on their behalf: Fill your priests with the sure knowledge of your love.

Open their hearts to the power and consolation of the Holy Spirit.

Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.

Increase in them profound faith in the Sacraments they celebrate as they nourish, strengthen and heal us.

Lord Jesus Christ, grant that these, your priests, may inspire us to strive for holiness by the power of their example, as men of prayer who ponder your word and follow your will.

O Mary, Mother of Christ and our mother, guard with your maternal care these chosen ones, so dear to the Heart of your Son.

Intercede for our priests, that offering the Sacrifice of your Son, they may be conformed more each day to the image of your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Saint John Vianney, universal patron of priests, pray for us and our priests

8 posted on 07/10/2010 10:02:34 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Please pray for my priest who is celebrating his 13th anniversary of his ordination — tomorrow on the 12th. (If you want his name, please FReepmail me.)

9 posted on 07/10/2010 10:03:44 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Pray a Rosary each day for our nation.

Pray the Rosary

1.  Sign of the Cross:  In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

2.  The Apostles Creed:  I BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day He rose again. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

3.  The Lord's Prayer:  OUR Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

4. (3) Hail Mary:  HAIL Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen. (Three times)

5. Glory Be:  GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Fatima Prayer: Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.

Announce each mystery, then say 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, 1 Glory Be and 1 Fatima prayer.  Repeat the process with each mystery.

End with the Hail Holy Queen:

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus!

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Final step -- The Sign of the Cross


The Mysteries of the Rosary

By tradition, Catholics meditate on these Mysteries during prayers of the Rosary.
The biblical references follow each of the Mysteries below.

The Glorious Mysteries
(Wednesdays and Sundays)
1.The Resurrection (Matthew 28:1-8, Mark 16:1-18, Luke 24:1-12, John 20:1-29) [Spiritual fruit - Faith]
2. The Ascension (Mark 16:19-20, Luke 24:50-53, Acts 1:6-11) [Spiritual fruit - Christian Hope]
3. The Descent of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:1-13) [Spiritual fruit - Gifts of the Holy Spirit]
4. The Assumption [Spiritual fruit - To Jesus through Mary]
5. The Coronation [Spiritual fruit - Grace of Final Perseverance]

10 posted on 07/10/2010 10:04:54 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All


St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle
 Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we  humbly pray,
 and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
 by the power of God,
 Cast into hell Satan and all evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.

11 posted on 07/10/2010 10:05:51 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Prayer Chain Request for the United States of America

Pray for Nancy Pelosi

Bachmann: Prayer and fasting will help defeat health care reform (Freeper Prayer Thread)

Prayer Campaign Started to Convert Pro-Abortion Catholic Politicians to Pro-Life

[Catholic Caucus] One Million Rosaries

Non-stop Rosary vigil to defeat ObamaCare

From an Obama bumper sticker on a car:

"Pray for Obama.  Psalm 109:8"

Psalm 109:8

    "Let his days be few; and let another take his place of leadership."


Evening Prayer
Someone has said that if people really understood the full extent of the power we have available through prayer, we might be speechless.
Did you know that during WWII there was an advisor to Churchill who organized a group of people who dropped what they were doing every day at a prescribed hour for one minute to collectively pray for the safety of England, its people and peace?  

There is now a group of people organizing the same thing here in America. If you would like to participate: Every evening at 9:00 PM Eastern Time (8:00 PM Central) (7:00 PM Mountain) (6:00 PM Pacific), stop whatever you are doing and spend one minute praying for the safety of the United States, our troops, our citizens, and for a return to a Godly nation. If you know anyone else who would like to participate, please pass this along. Our prayers are the most powerful asset we have.    Please forward this to your praying friends.

12 posted on 07/10/2010 10:06:44 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
13 posted on 07/10/2010 10:07:55 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
July Devotion: The Precious Blood

July Devotion: The Precious Blood 
Like the Sacred Wounds of Jesus, His Precious Blood deserves special honor because of its close relation to the Sacred Passion. That honor was given to it from the beginning by the Apostles who praised its redeeming power. (Rom. 5:9 "we are justified by His blood"; Heb. 13:12 "and so Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people by His blood, suffered outside the gate"; 1 John 1:7 "and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin.") 
The Church has always held devotion to the Precious Blood in high esteem. We continue to recognize and publicly acknowledge the profound indebtedness of the whole human race to Christ, Priest and Victim. 
Standing at the foot of the cross, we see Jesus' head, hands, feet, and side pouring out streams of precious blood. It is precious because it: 
·      Redeems us and atones for our sins. Through His precious blood we are reconciled to God, made one with Him. Death ceases to be death and heaven's gates are opened to us.  
·      Cleanses us from all sin.  
·      Preserves us and keeps us safe from the grasp of evil.  When the Father sees us washed in the Blood of the Lamb we are spared.  
·      Comforts us. It is the constant reminder that Jesus - true God and true man suffered and died to save us and to open heaven to us because He loves us.  
·      Sanctifies us.  The same blood that justifies by taking away sin, continues to work within us.  Its action gives us the grace to continue on the path toward the Kingdom of God.  It assists us in achieving our new nature, leading us onward in subduing sin and in following the commands of God.  
Jesus shed His precious blood seven times during His life on earth.  They events were: 
·      Jesus shed His Blood in the Circumcision  
·      Jesus shed His Blood whilst praying in the Garden of Olives  
·      Jesus shed His Blood in the scourging  
·      Jesus shed His Blood in the crowning with thorns  
·      Jesus shed His Blood while carrying His cross  
·      Jesus shed His Blood in the crucifixion  
·      Jesus shed His Blood and water when His side was pierced 
The Power of the Precious Blood 
"I adore You, O Precious Blood of Jesus, flower of creation, fruit of virginity, ineffable instrument of the Holy Spirit, and I rejoice at the thought that You came from the drop of virginal blood on which eternal Love impressed its movement; You were assumed by the Word and deified in His person. I am overcome with emotion when I think of Your passing from the Blessed Virgin's heart into the heart of the Word, and, being vivified by the breath of the Divinity, becoming adorable because You became the Blood of God." (St. Albert the Great)  
At their recent meeting, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops had continuous Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament for "healing and peace."   They encouraged parishes and communities to have ongoing Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.  In these dark months of woundedness, pain and violence we need to turn to the Precious Blood of Jesus in the Eucharist, for healing, peace, and light.  
"What power we have in the Precious Blood of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist!  He is there to protect us, to be our refuge and our redemption.  (In Exodus 12, God told Moses to have His chosen people mark their door posts with the blood of an unblemished lamb, during the first Passover. Those who did this were spared when the Angel of the death passed by). This is why Archbishop Sheen said that we must call down the Blood of the Lamb, Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament.  For, he warned, when we stop calling down the Blood of the Lamb, we start calling down the blood of each other."  (From our book Bread of Life)      
"And the Lamb on the throne will shepherd them. He will lead them to springs of life-giving water" (Rev 7:17). 
"In the tumultuous events of our time, it is important to look to the Eucharist: it must be at the heart of the life of priests and consecrated people; the light and strength of spouses in putting into practice their commitment to fidelity, chastity and the apostolate; the ideal in education and in training children, adolescents and young people; the comfort and support of those who are troubled, of the sick and all who are weeping in the Gethsemane of life."  (Pope John Paul II)  
Precious Blood of Jesus, save us! 
"The only time our Lord asked the Apostles for anything was the night when He went into His agony.  But as often in the history of the church since that time, evil was awake, but the disciples were asleep.  That is why there came out of His anguished and lonely Heart a sigh: 'Could you not watch one hour with Me?'" (Mt 26:40).  Not for an hour of activity did he plead, but for an hour of friendship (Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen).  
St. Maria Goretti,  Patroness of Youth & Children of Mary, Feast-July 6 St. Maria of Italy (1890-1902), couldn't wait to make her First Communion.  She wanted to receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist so that she could become more beautiful and pure like Him; she wanted Him to live in her, close to her heart.  After she received Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament for the first time, she stayed in Church for a long time after Mass to talk to Him. Maria's family lived with and worked for a farmer. His son Alessandro kept trying to make Maria sin against purity.  One day, when everyone else was working, Alessandro grabbed Maria and tried to make her sin.  Maria kept crying out for him to stop, and each time she did, he stabbed her. Courageously,   Maria resisted him and was stabbed fourteen times. St. Maria died the next day.  
"Look at Maria Goretti....  Like her, be capable of defending your purity of heart and body.  Be committed to the struggle against evil and sin.  Always esteem and love, purity and virginity." (Pope John Paul II, 1990)      
A Prayer for Priests 
O my God, help those priests who are faithful to remain faithful; to those who are falling, stretch forth Your Divine Hand that they may grasp it as their support.  In the great ocean of Your mercy, lift those poor unfortunate ones who have fallen, that being engulfed therein they may receive the grace to return to Your Great Loving Heart.  Amen.  Precious Blood of Jesus, protect them!A
"Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you"  (Jn 6:53).  
The Eucharist is the fruit of our Lords Passion. Jesus gave up His Body on the cross so that He may give you His Body in the Holy Eucharist. Jesus poured out His very last drop of Blood on the cross so that He may fill you with His Divine Love each time that you receive Him in Holy Communion and visit Him in Eucharistic Adoration! 
"The Eucharist, in the Mass and outside of the Mass, is the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, and is therefore deserving of the worship that is given to the living God, and to Him alone" (Pope John Paul II, September 29, 1979, Phoenix Park, Ireland) 
"The bread and wine, fruit of human hands, transformed through the power of the Holy Spirit into the body and blood of Christ, become a pledge of the 'new heaven and new earth,' announced by the Church in her daily mission." "In Christ, whom we adore present in the mystery of the Eucharist, the father uttered his final word with regard to humanity and human history." "To live the Eucharist, it is necessary, as well, to spend much time in adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament, something which I myself experience every day drawing from it strength, consolation and assistance."  "How could the Church fulfill her vocation without cultivating a constant relationship with the Eucharist, without nourishing herself with this food which sanctifies, without founding her missionary activity on this indispensable support?" "To evangelize the world there is need of apostles who are 'experts' in the celebration, adoration and contemplation of the Eucharist" (Pope John Paul II, World Mission Message 2004).
The Power of the Precious Blood of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist  
"The Precious Blood belongs in an especial manner to men. Much more, therefore, does God invite them to come to its heavenly baths, and receive therein, not only the cleansing of their souls, but the power of a new and amazing life. Every doctrine in theology is a call to the Precious Blood.  Every ceremony in the Church tells of it . . . .  Every supernatural act is a growth of it. Everything that is holy on earth is either a leaf, bud, blossom or fruit of the Blood of Jesus. To its fountains God calls the sinner, that he may be lightened of his burdens. There is no remission of him in anything else.  Only there is his lost sonship to be found. The saints are no less called by God to these invigorating streams. It is out of the Precious Blood that men draw martyrdoms, vocations, celebacies, austerities, heroic charities, and all the magnificent graces of high sanctity.  The secret nourishment of prayer is from those fountains" (Father Faber, The Precious Blood).  

Devotion to the Drops of Blood Lost by our Lord Jesus Christ on His Way to Calvary (Prayer/Devotion)

Chaplet of the Most Precious Blood
The Traditional Feast of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ (Catholic Caucus)
Devotion to the Precious Blood
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,And More on the Precious Blood
Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ
Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
St.Gaspar:Founder of the Society of the Precious Blood[AKA The Hammer of Freemasons]

 Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ

The Most Precious Blood of Jesus
July is traditionally associated with the Precious Blood of Our Lord. It may be customary to celebrate the votive Mass of the Precious Blood on July 1.

The extraordinary importance of the saving Blood of Christ has ensured a central place for its memorial in the celebration of this cultic mystery: at the centre of the Eucharistic assembly, in which the Church raises up to God in thanksgiving "the cup of blessing" (1 Cor 10, 16; cf Ps 115-116, 13) and offers it to the faithful as a "real communion with the Blood of Christ" (1 Cor 10, 16); and throughout the Liturgical Year. The Church celebrates the saving Blood of Christ not only on the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, but also on many other occasions, such that the cultic remembrance of the Blood of our redemption (cf 1 Pt 1, 18) pervades the entire Liturgical Year. Hence, at Vespers during Christmastide, the Church, addressing Christ, sings: "Nos quoque, qui sancto tuo redempti sumus sanguine, ob diem natalis tui hymnum novum concinimus." In the Paschal Triduum, the redemptive significance and efficacy of the Blood of Christ is continuously recalled in adoration. During the adoration of the Cross on Good Friday the Church sings the hymn: "Mite corpus perforatur, sanguis unde profluit; terra, pontus, astra, mundus quo lavanturflumine", and again on Easter Sunday, "Cuius corpus sanctissimum in ara crucis torridum, sed et cruorem roesum gustando, Deo vivimus (194).

14 posted on 07/10/2010 10:09:14 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

July 2010

Holy Father's Intentions
Justice in Electing those who Govern
 That in every nation of the world the election of officials may be carried out with justice, transparency and honesty, respecting the free decisions of citizens.

An Urban Culture of Justice, Solidarity and Peace
That Christians may strive to offer everywhere, but especially in great urban centers, an effective contribution to the promotion of education, justice, solidarity and peace.

15 posted on 07/10/2010 10:10:25 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Deuteronomy 30:10-14

Restoration After Repentance (Continuation)

(Moses said to the people, ) [10] “If you obey the voice of the Lord your God, to
keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the
law, if you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

The Law of God is Accessible to All

[11] “For this commandment which I command you this day is not too hard for
you, neither is it far off. [12] It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will
go up for us to heaven, and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ [13]
Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for
us, and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ [14] But the word is very
near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.”


30:11-14. What this passage directly refers to is how privileged Israel was to
have the Law. The sacred writer puts it very beautifully, by using two nice meta-
phors in a passage that has a certain poetic rhythm to it. St. Paul, in his Letter
to the Romans (10:6-8), uses this passage, applying it not to knowledge of the
Law but to “the word of faith” that is preached by the apostles: it is now that
word (as previously it was the Law) that makes manifest the precepts and com-
mandments of God and (like the Law in its time, too) it should be constantly on
our lips and in our heart. Theodoret of Cyprus (commenting on the Greek Septua-
gint version, which adds in v. 14 “and in your hands”) says: The mouth stands for
meditation on the divine words; the heart, readiness of spirit; the hands for doing
what is commanded” (”Quaestiones in Octateuchum”, 38).

The Christian people, who possess the New Law and the New Covenant, are in
an even better position than the people of old, for they have been given the grace
of Christ. And so the Council of Trent teaches that “God does not command im-
possible things; when he makes a commandment he is telling you to do what
you can and ask (his help) as regards what is beyond you, and he helps you to
fulfill it” (De Iustificatione”, 11). In the Old Law, even though the Israelites did not
have available to them the grace won by Christ, divine Providence helped them
to do what was required of them in anticipation of that grace.

Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.

16 posted on 07/10/2010 10:14:22 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Colossians 1:15-20

Hymn in Praise of Christ as Head of All Creation

[15] He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation;
[16] for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisi-
ble, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities — all things were
created through him and for him. [17] He is before all things, and in him all things
hold together. [18] He is the head of the body, the church, he is the beginning;
the first-born from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. [19] For
in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, [20] and through him to re-
concile to himself all things.


15-20. Now we come to a very beautiful hymn in praise of Christ’s sublime dignity
as God and as man. This was a truth deserving emphasis in view of the danger to
the faith which the false apostles’ teaching represented (cf. note on vv. 7-8). How-
ever, quite apart from the particular situation in Colossae, the sublime teaching
contained in this canticle holds good for all times; it is one of the most important
Christological texts in St Paul’s writings.

The real protagonist of this passage is the Son of God made man, whose two na-
tures, divine and human, are always linked in the divine person of the Word. How-
ever, at some points St Paul stresses his divinity (vv. 16, 17, 18b and 19) and at
others his humanity (vv. 15, 18a, 18c and 20). The underlying theme of the hymn
is Christ’s total pre-eminence over all creation.

We can distinguish two stanzas in the hymn. In the first (vv. 15-17) Christ’s domi-
nion is stated to embrace the entire cosmos, stemming as it does from his action
as Creator: “in him all things were created” (v. 16). This same statement is made
in the prologue to the fourth Gospel (cf. Jn 1:3), and it is implied in the Book of
Genesis, which tells us that creation was effected by God’s word (cf. Gen 1:3, 6,
9, etc.). Since Christ is the Word of God, he is above all things, and therefore St
Paul stresses that all angels — irrespective of their hierarchy or order — come un-
der his sway.

Christ’s pre-eminence over natural creation is followed by his primacy in the eco-
nomy of supernatural salvation, a second creation worked by God through grace.
The second stanza (vv. 18-20) refers to this further primacy of Christ: by his death
on the cross, Christ has restored peace and has reconciled all things — the world
and mankind — to God. Jews and Gentiles both are called to form part of one bo-
dy, the Church, of which Christ is the head; and all the celestial powers are sub-
ject to his authority.

This passage is, then, a sublime canticle celebrating Christ, the head by virtue
of his surpassing excellence and his salvific action. “The Son of God and of the
Blessed Virgin”, Pius XII teaches, “must be called the head of the Church for the
special reason of his preeminence. For the head holds the highest place. But
none holds a higher place than Christ as God for he is the Word of the Eternal
Father and is therefore justly called ‘the first-born of all creation’. None holds a
higher place than Christ as man, for he, born of the immaculate Virgin, is the
true and natural Son of God, and by reason of his miraculous and glorious resur-
rection by which he triumphed over death he is ‘the first-born from the dead’. And
none stands higher than he who, being the ‘one mediator between God and man’
(1 Tim 2:5), admirably unites earth with heaven; who, exalted on the Cross as
on his throne of mercy, has drawn all things to himself” (”Mystici Corporis”, 15).

15. By the unaided use of reason man can work out that God exists, but he
could never, on his own, have grasped the essence of God: in this sense God is
said to be invisible (cf. St Thomas, “Commentary on Col, ad loc.”). This is why it
is said in St John’s Gospel that “no one has ever seen God” (Jn 1:18).

In Sacred Scripture we are told that man was created “in the image of God”
(Gen 1:26). However, only the second person of the Blessed Trinity, the Son, is
the perfect image and likeness of the Father. “The image [likeness] of a thing
may be found in something else in two ways; in one way it is found in something
of the same specific nature — as the image of the king is found in his son; in ano-
ther way it is found in something of a different nature, as the king’s image on the
coin. In the first sense the Son is the image of the Father; in the second sense
man is called the image of God; and therefore in order to express the imperfect
character of the divine image in man, man is not simply called ‘the image’ but is
referred to as being ‘according to the image’, whereby is expressed a certain
movement or tendency to perfection. But it cannot be said that the Son of God is
‘according to the image’, because he is the perfect image of the Father” (”Summa
Theologiae”, I, q. 35, a. 2 ad 3). And so, “for something to be truly an image, it
has to proceed from another as similar to it in species, or at least in some aspect
of the species” (”Summa Theologiae”, I, q. 35, a. 1, c.) To say that the Son is “im-
age of the invisible God” means that the Father and the Son are one-in-substance
— that is, both possess the same divine nature — with the nuance that the Son pro-
ceeds from the Father. It also conveys the fact that they are two distinct persons,
for no one is the image of himself.

The supreme revelation of God is that effected by the Son of God through his In-
carnation. He is the only one who can say, “He who has seen me has seen the
Father” (Jn 14:9). His sacred humanity, therefore, reflects the perfections of God,
which he possesses by virtue of the hypostatic union — the union of divine nature
and human nature which occurs in his person, which is divine. The second Per-
son of the Trinity restored man to his original dignity. The image of God, imper-
fect though it be, which there is in every man and woman, was blurred by Adam’s
sin; but it was restored in Christ: God’s true self-image takes on a nature the
same as ours, and thanks to the redemption wrought by his death, we obtain
forgiveness of sins (v. 14).

Jesus Christ is the “first-born of all creation” by virtue of the hypostatic union.
He is, of course, prior to all creation, for he proceeds eternally from the Father
by generation. This the Church has always believed, and it proclaims it in the
Creed: “born of the Father before time began ..., begotten, not made, of one
being [consubstantial] with the Father” (”Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed”).

In Jewish culture, the first-born was first in honor and in law. When the Apostle
calls Jesus “the first-born of all creation”, he is referring to the fact that Christ
has pre-eminence and headship over all created things, because not only does
he pre-date them but they were all created “through him” and “for him” (v. 16).

16-17. Jesus Christ is God; this is why he has pre-eminence over all created
things. The relationships between Christ and creation are spelled out by three
prepositions. “In him all things were created”: in Christ: he is their source, their
center and their model or exemplary cause. “All things were created through
him and for him”: through him, in other words, God the Father, through God the
Son, creates all things; and for him, because he is the last end, the purpose or
goal of everything.

St Paul goes on to say that “in him all things hold together”; “the Son of God
has not only created everything: he conserves everything in being; thus, if his
sovereign will were to cease to operate for even an instant, everything would re-
turn into the nothingness from which he drew everything that exists” (Chrysos-
tom, “Hom. on Col, ad loc.”).

All created things, then, continue in existence because they share, albeit in a
limited way, in Christ’s infinite fullness of existence or perfection. His dominion
extends not only over celestial things but also over all material things, however
insignificant they may seem: it embraces everything in heaven and in the physi-
cal universe.

The sacred text also points to Christ’s supremacy over invisible creation, that is,
over the angels and celestial hierarchies (cf. Heb 1:5). If St Paul stresses this
fact, it is to expose the errors of those who were depicting Jesus as a creature
intermediary between corporeal beings and spiritual created beings, and, there-
fore, lower than the angels.

18. “He is the head of the body, the church”: this image shows the relationship
of Christ with the Church, to which he sends his grace in abundance, bearing life
to all its members. ‘The head,” St Augustine says, “is our very Savior, who suf-
fered under Pontius Pilate and now, after rising from the dead, is seated at the
right hand of the Father. And his body is the Church [...] For the whole Church,
made up of the assembly of the faithful — for all the faithful are Christ’s mem-
bers — has Christ, as its head, who rules his body from on high” (”Enarrationes
in Psalmos”, 56, 1).

St Paul unequivocally teaches that the Church is a body. “Now if the Church is
a body it must be something one and undivided, according to the statement of St
Paul: ‘We, though many, are one body in Christ’ (Rom 12:5). And not only must
it be one and undivided, it must also be something concrete and visible, as our
Predecessor of happy memory, Leo XIII, says in his Encyclical “Satis Cognitum”:
‘By the very fact of being a body the Church is visible.’ It is therefore an aberra-
tion from divine truth to represent the Church as something intangible and invisi-
ble, as a mere ‘pneumatic’ entity joining together by an invisible link a number
of communities of Christians in spite of their difference in faith.

“But a body requires a number of members so connected that they help one ano-
ther. And, in fact, as in our mortal organism when one member suffers the others
suffer with it, and the healthy members come to the assistance of those who are
ailing, so in the Church individual members do not live only for themselves but
also help one another, alleviating their suffering and helping to build up the entire
body” (Pius XII, “Mystici Corporis”, 7).

“He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead”: this can be said because he
was the first man to rise from the dead, never again to die (cf. 1 Cor 15:20; Rev
1:5), and also because thanks to him it enabled men to experience resurrection
in glory (cf. 1 Cor 15:22; Rom 8:11), because they are justified through him (cf.
Rom 4:25).

So, just as the previous verses looked to Christ’s pre-eminent role in creations
the hymn now focuses on his primacy in a new creation — the rebirth of mankind,
and all creation in its train, in the supernatural order of grace and glory. Christ
rose from the dead to enable us also to walk in newness of life (cf. Rom 6:4).
Therefore, in every way Jesus Christ is “pre-eminent.”

19. The word “pleroma” translated here as “fullness”, has two meanings in Greek:
one, an active meaning, describes something that “fills” or “completes”; for exam-
ple, a ship’s full load can be referred to as its pleroma. The other meaning is pas-
sive, “that which is filled” or “that which is complete”, so that a ship can be said
to be “pleroma” when it is fully loaded. In this passage St Paul is using the word
in both senses: Christ is the fullness (passive sense) of the Godhead (cf. Col 2:9),
because he is full of all the perfections of the divine essence; and he is the full-
ness (active sense), because he fills the Church and all creation.

St John Chrysostom suggests that “the word ‘fullness’ is to be taken to mean
the divinity of Jesus Christ [...]. This term has been chosen the better to show
that the very essence of the godhead resides in Jesus Christ” (”Hom. on Col,
ad loc.”).

Since Christ possesses the divine nature, he also possesses the fullness of the
supernatural gifts, for himself and for all mankind. Hence St Thomas’ comment
that pleroma “reveals the dignity of the head in so far as it has the fullness of all
grace” (Commentary on Col, ad loc.). In this sense, Christ is the fullness of the
Church, for as its head he vivifies his body with all kinds of unmerited gifts. Final-
ly, the entire created universe can be termed the “fullness” (”pleroma”) of Christ,
because everything that exists in heaven and on earth has been created and is
maintained in existence by him (cf. vv. 16-17); they are ever-present to him and
are ruled by him (cf. Is 6:3; Ps 139:8; Wis 1:7; etc.). Thus, the world, which was
created good (cf. Gen 1:31) tends towards its fulfillment insofar as it clearly re-
flects the imprint God gave it at the start of creation.

20. Since Christ is pre-eminent over all creation, the Father chose to reconcile
all things to himself through him. Sin had cut man off from God, rupturing the per-
fect order which originally reigned in the created world. By shedding his blood on
the cross, Christ obtained peace for us; nothing in the universe falls outside the
scope of his peace-giving influence. He who in the beginning created all things in
heaven and on earth has reestablished peace throughout creation.

This reconciliation of all things, ushered in by Christ, is fostered by the Holy
Spirit who enables the Church to continue the process of reconciliation. However,
we will not attain the fullness of this reconciliation until we reach heaven, when
the entire created universe, along with mankind, will be perfectly renewed in
Christ (cf. “Lumen Gentium”, 48).

“The history of salvation — the salvation of the whole of humanity, as well as of
every human being of whatever period—is the wonderful history of a reconciliation;
the reconciliation whereby God, as Father, in the Blood and the Cross of his Son
made man, reconciles the world to himself and thus brings into being a new fa-
mily of those who have been reconciled.

“Reconciliation becomes necessary because there has been the break of sin
from which derive all the other forms of break within man and about him. Recon-
ciliation therefore, in order to be complete, necessarily requires liberation from
sin, which is to be rejected in its deepest roots. Thus a close internal link unites
“conversion” and “reconciliation”. It is impossible to split these two realities or to
speak of one and say nothing of the other (John Paul II, “Reconciliatio Et Paeni-
tentia”, 13).

Jesus Christ also counts on the cooperation of every individual Christian to apply
his work of redemption and peace to all creation. The founder of Opus Dei says,
in this connection: “We must love the world and work and all human things. For
the world is good. Adam’s sin destroyed the divine balance of creation; but God
the Father sent his only Son to reestablish peace, so that we his children by
adoption, might free creation from disorder and reconcile all things to God”
(”Christ Is Passing By”, 112).

Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.

17 posted on 07/10/2010 10:15:36 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Luke 10:25-37

Parable of the Good Samaritan

[25] And behold, a lawyer stood up to put Him (Jesus) to the test, saying, “Tea-
cher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” [26] He said to him, “What is written
in the law? How do you read?” [27] And he answered, “You shall love the Lord
your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength,
and with all your mind: and your neighbor as yourself.” [28] And He said to him,
“You have answered right; do this, and you will live.” [29] But he, desiring to jus-
tify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

[30] Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he
fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him
half dead. [31] Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he
saw him he passed by on the other side. [32] So likewise a Levite, when he
came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. [33] But a Sama-
ritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was; and when he saw him, he had
compassion, [34] and went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and
wine; then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn, and took care
of him. [35] And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the inn-
keeper, saying, “Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, I will repay
you when I come back.’ [36] Which of these three, do you think, proved neighbor
to the man who fell among the robbers?” [37] He said, “The one who showed
mercy on him.” And Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”


25-28. Our Lord’s teaching is that the way to attain eternal life is through faithful
fulfillment of the Law of God. The Ten Commandments, which God gave Moses
on Mount Sinai (Exodus 20:1-17), express the natural law in a clear and con-
crete way. It is part of Christian teaching that the natural law exists, that it is a
participation by rational creatures in the Eternal Law and that it is impressed on
the conscience of every man when he is created by God (cf. Leo XIII, “Libertas
Praestantissimum”). Obviously, therefore, the natural law, expressed in the Ten
Commandments, cannot change or become outdated, for it is not dependent on
man’s will or on changing circumstances.

In this passage, Jesus praises and accepts the summary of the Law given by
the Jewish scribe. This reply, taken from Deuteronomy (6:4ff), was a prayer which
the Jews used to say frequently. Our Lord gives the very same reply when He is
asked which is the principal commandment of the Law and concludes His answer
by saying, “On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets”
(Matthew 22:40; cf. also Romans 13:8-9; Galatians 5:14).

There is a hierarchy and order in these two commandments constituting the dou-
ble precept of charity: before everything and above everything comes loving God
in Himself; in the second place, and as a consequence of the first commandment,
comes loving one’s neighbor, for God explicitly requires us to do so (1 John 4:21;
cf. notes on Matthew 22:34-40 and 22:37-38).

This passage of the Gospel also included another basic doctrine: the Law of
God is not something negative—”Do not do this”—but something completely posi-
tive — love. Holiness, to which all baptized people are called, does not consist in
not sinning, but in loving, in doing positive things, in bearing fruit in the form of
love of God. When our Lord describes for us the Last Judgment He stresses this
positive aspect of the Law of God (Matthew 25:31-46). The reward of eternal life
will be given to those who do good.

27. “Yes, our only occupation here on earth is that of loving God—that is, to start
doing what we will be doing for all eternity. Why must we love God? Well, be-
cause our happiness consists in love of God; it can consist in nothing else. So,
if we do not love God, we will always be unhappy; and if we wish to enjoy any
consolation and relief in our pains, we will attain it only by recourse to love of
God. If you want to be convinced of this, go and find the happiest man according
to the world; if he does not love God, you will find that in fact he is an unhappy
man. And, on the contrary, if you discover the man most unhappy in the eyes of
the world, you will see that because he loves God he is happy in every way. Oh
my God!, open the eyes of our souls, and we will seek our happiness where we
truly can find it” (St. John Mary Vianney, “Selected Sermons”, 22nd Sunday af-
ter Pentecost).

29-37. In this moving parable, which only St. Luke gives us, our Lord explains ve-
ry graphically who our neighbor is and how we should show charity towards him,
even if he is our enemy.

Following other Fathers, St. Augustine (”De Verbis Domini Sermones”, 37) iden-
tifies the Good Samaritan with our Lord, and the waylaid man with Adam, the
source and symbol of all fallen mankind. Moved by compassion and piety, He
comes down to earth to cure man’s wounds, making them His own (Isaiah 53:4;
Matthew 8:17; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 John 3:5). In fact, we often see Jesus being moved
by man’s suffering (cf. Matthew 9:36; Mark 1:41; Luke 7:13). And St. John says:
“In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only
Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we
loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the expiation for our sins.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 John 4:9-11).

This parable leaves no doubt about who our neighbor is—anyone (without distinc-
tion of race or relationship) who needs our help; nor about how we should love
him — by taking pity on him, being compassionate towards his spiritual and cor-
poral needs; and it is not just a matter of having the right feelings towards him;
we must do something, we must generously serve him.

Christians, who are disciples of Christ, should share His love and compassion,
never distancing themselves from others’ needs. One way to express love for
one’s neighbor is perform the “works of mercy”, which get their name from the
fact that they are not duties in justice. There are fourteen such works, seven
spiritual and seven corporal. The spiritual are: To convert the sinner; To instruct
the ignorant; To counsel the doubtful; To comfort the sorrowful; To bear wrongs
patiently; To forgive injuries; To pray for the living and the dead. The corporal
works are: To feed the hungry; To give drink to the thirsty; To clothe the naked;
To shelter the homeless; To visit the sick; To visit the imprisoned; To bury the

31-32. Very probably one reason why our Lord used this parable was to correct
one of the excesses of false piety common among His contemporaries. Accor-
ding to the Law of Moses, contact with dead bodies involved legal impurity, from
which one was cleansed by various ablutions (cf. Numbers 19:11-22; Leviticus
21:1-4, 11-12). These regulations were not meant to prevent people from helping
the injured; they were designed for reasons of hygiene and respect for the dead.
The aberration of the priest and the Levite in this parable consisted in this: they
did not know for sure whether the man who had been assaulted was dead or not,
and they preferred to apply a wrong interpretation of a secondary, ritualistic pre-
cept of the Law rather than obey the more important commandment of loving
one’s neighbor and giving him whatever help one can.

Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.

18 posted on 07/10/2010 10:16:47 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Mass Readings

First reading Deuteronomy 30:10-14 ©
Moses said to the people: ‘Obey the voice of the Lord your God, keeping those commandments and laws of his that are written in the Book of this Law, and you shall return to the Lord your God with all your heart and soul.
  ‘For this Law that I enjoin on you today is not beyond your strength or beyond your reach. It is not in heaven, so that you need to wonder, “Who will go up to heaven for us and bring it down to us, so that we may hear it and keep it?” Nor is it beyond the seas, so that you need to wonder, “Who will cross the seas for us and bring it back to us, so that we may hear it and keep it?” No, the Word is very near to you, it is in your mouth and in your heart for your observance.’
Psalm Psalm 68:14,17,30-31,33-34,36-37
Alternative psalm Psalm 18:8-11
Second reading Colossians 1:15-20 ©
Christ Jesus is the image of the unseen God
and the first-born of all creation,
for in him were created
all things in heaven and on earth:
everything visible and everything invisible,
Thrones, Dominations, Sovereignties, Powers –
all things were created through him and for him.
Before anything was created, he existed,
and he holds all things in unity.
Now the Church is his body,
he is its head.
As he is the Beginning,
he was first to be born from the dead,
so that he should be first in every way;
because God wanted all perfection
to be found in him
and all things to be reconciled through him and for him,
everything in heaven and everything on earth,
when he made peace
by his death on the cross.
Gospel Luke 10:25-37 ©
There was a lawyer who, to disconcert Jesus, stood up and said to him, ‘Master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ He said to him, ‘What is written in the Law? What do you read there?’ He replied, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself.’ ‘You have answered right,’ said Jesus ‘do this and life is yours.’
  But the man was anxious to justify himself and said to Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbour?’ Jesus replied, ‘A man was once on his way down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell into the hands of brigands; they took all he had, beat him and then made off, leaving him half dead. Now a priest happened to be travelling down the same road, but when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. In the same way a Levite who came to the place saw him, and passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan traveller who came upon him was moved with compassion when he saw him. He went up and bandaged his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them. He then lifted him on to his own mount, carried him to the inn and looked after him. Next day, he took out two denarii and handed them to the innkeeper. “Look after him,” he said “and on my way back I will make good any extra expense you have.” Which of these three, do you think, proved himself a neighbour to the man who fell into the brigands‘ hands?’ ‘The one who took pity on him’ he replied. Jesus said to him, ‘Go, and do the same yourself.’

19 posted on 07/10/2010 10:19:48 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Loving Means Acting Like the Good Samaritan, Biblical Reflection for 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time C by Father Thomas Rosica, CSB

Loving Means Acting Like the Good Samaritan

Biblical Reflection for 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time C

By Father Thomas Rosica, CSB

TORONTO, JULY 6, 2010 ( The story of the Good Samaritan in today's Gospel (Luke 10:25-37) is one of the most treasured parables of the Bible. During my studies in the Holy Land, no matter how many times I traveled that perilous yet spectacular highway from Jerusalem to Jericho, I always found myself musing on Luke's provocative story.

Luke's story is powerful, for it speaks of the power of love that transcends all creeds and cultures and "creates" a neighbor out of a complete stranger. The parable is personal, for it describes with profound simplicity the birth of a human relationship that has a personal, physical touch, transcending social and cultural taboos, as one person binds the wounds of another. The parable is a pastoral one, for it is filled with the mystery of care and concern that is at the heart of what is best in human beings. The story is primarily practical, for it urges us to cross all barriers of culture and community and to go and do likewise!

Let us look closely at Luke's parable. The legal expert who responds to Jesus' counter-question is certainly a good and upright man. The words, "wished to justify himself" may often be understood to mean that the lawyer was looking for some loophole to demonstrate his worthiness. In fact, the lawyer wishes to be sure that he understands just what "love your neighbor" really implies. In response to a question from this Jewish legal expert about inheriting eternal life, Jesus illustrates the superiority of love over legalism through the parable.

The priest and Levite (vv 31-32) are religious representatives of Judaism who would have been expected to be models of "neighbor" to the victim they would pass by on the road. Levites were expected to have a special dedication to the law. The identity of the "neighbor" requested by the legal expert turns out to be a Samaritan, the enemy of the Jew. Samaritans were hated by the lawyer's racial group. In the end, the lawyer is even unable to say that it was the Samaritan who showed compassion. He resorts to the description, "The one who treated him with compassion."

Spectator sport

To show compassion is to suffer with the wounded and the suffering, to share their pain and agony. Compassion does not leave us indifferent or insensitive to another's pain but calls for solidarity with the suffering. This is how Jesus, the Good Samaritan par excellence, showed compassion. At times we can be like the priest and the scribe who, on seeing the wounded man, passed by on the other side. We can be silent spectators afraid to involve ourselves and dirty our hands.

Compassion demands that we get out of ourselves as we reach out to others in need. It means that we get our hands and even our reputations dirty. Indifference is worse than hostility. The hostile person at least acknowledges the presence of the other while reacting violently to it; the indifferent person, on the other hand, ignores the other and treats him as if he did not exist. That was the kind of indifference and insensitivity shown by the priest and the Levite who passed by on the other side, leaving the wounded and waylaid traveler completely alone.

The Good Samaritan shows us what compassion and commitment are all about. He could have easily passed by on the other side. He could have closed his heart and refused to respond to a genuine need. But he stopped and knelt down beside the stranger who was hurting. At that moment, a neighbor was born. Everyone who stops beside the suffering of another person, whatever form it may take, is a Good Samaritan. This stopping and stooping, this pausing and kneeling down beside the suffering, is not done out of curiosity but out of love. The Samaritan's compassion brings him to perform a whole series of actions. First he bandaged his wounds, then he took the wounded man to an inn to care for him, and before leaving, he gives the innkeeper the necessary money to take care of him (vv 34-35).

Loving means acting like the Good Samaritan. We know that Jesus himself is the Good Samaritan par excellence; although he was God, he did not hesitate to humble himself to the point of becoming a man and giving his life for us. More than 2,000 years after this story was first told, it continues to move people deeply. It teaches us what authentic compassion, commitment and communion with others are all about.

Concept of neighbor

In his 2005 encyclical letter "Deus Caritas Est" (On Christian Love), Benedict XVI wrote in #15: "The parable of the Good Samaritan offers two particularly important clarifications. Until that time, the concept of 'neighbor' was understood as referring essentially to one's countrymen and to foreigners who had settled in the land of Israel; in other words, to the closely-knit community of a single country or people. This limit is now abolished. Anyone who needs me, and whom I can help, is my neighbor. The concept of 'neighbor' is now universalized, yet it remains concrete. Despite being extended to all mankind, it is not reduced to a generic, abstract and undemanding expression of love, but calls for my own practical commitment here and now.

"The Church has the duty to interpret ever anew this relationship between near and far with regard to the actual daily life of her members. Lastly, we should especially mention the great parable of the Last Judgment (cf. Matthew 25:31-46), in which love becomes the criterion for the definitive decision about a human life's worth or lack thereof. Jesus identifies himself with those in need, with the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and those in prison. "As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me" (Matthew 25:40). Love of God and love of neighbor have become one: In the least of the brethren we find Jesus himself, and in Jesus we find God."

A good knight

When I reflect on the ways that this parable has taken on flesh in history, I cannot help but think of the Venerable Servant of God, Father Michael McGivney, a parish priest who lived in 19th century America. He ministered to his flock with Christ-like compassion. Father McGivney recognized the material and spiritual poverty of so many members of the Catholic community of his day, and he understood that it was part of the lay vocation to become actively involved in offering assistance to brothers and sisters in need. He knew that it is not only priests and religious who have a vocation, but that every Christian is called by Christ to carry out a particular mission in the Church. He left a lasting legacy in founding and establishing the Knights of Columbus, a lay Catholic fraternal organization, that now has close to 1.8 million members worldwide ( On Aug. 14, 1890, Father McGivney, a priest of the Diocese of Hartford (USA) died at the young age of 38 years old.

The Knights of Columbus are nothing more than the continuation of the parable of the Good Samaritan in history. This fraternal order specializes in preparing other Good Samaritans for our time. Like the Good Samaritan, Christ's care for the sick and the suffering was an inspiration to Father McGivney who, as a priest, sought to be a living sign of Christ for the people he served.

Father McGivney and his brother Knights throughout history have been binding the wounds of those they discovered lying by the wayside of history and helping restore them to health and strength. In so doing, they imitate Christ, who came that we might have life in abundance.

"Nowhere is the face of our Church more attractive than in our open embrace of our neighbor," Supreme Knight Carl Anderson recently wrote. "Each encounter with those in need is actually an opportunity to create a civilization of love, one person, one act at a time."

Prayer for canonization

Many readers of this weekly column live in parts of the world where Knights are not present. Yet to simply know of their existence in the Church and in the world is cause for rejoicing and thanksgiving. They give flesh and blood to today's wonderful Gospel story. I encourage you to pray to Father McGivney and ask him to help you become a Good Samaritan to those around you. Pray for the courage to reach out beyond boundaries, the boldness to get your hands dirty as you touch the outcast, and the grace and consolation to recognize the face of Jesus in those to whom you minister.

"God, our Father, protector of the poor and defender of the widow and orphan, you called your priest, Father Michael J. McGivney, to be an apostle of Christian family life and to lead the young to the generous service of their neighbor.

"Through the example of his life and virtue may we follow your Son, Jesus Christ, more closely, fulfilling his commandment of charity and building up his Body, which is the Church. Let the inspiration of your servant prompt us to greater confidence in your love so that we may continue his work of caring for the needy and the outcast.

"We humbly ask that you glorify your servant Father Michael J. McGivney on earth according to the design of your holy will.

"Through his intercession, grant the favor I now present (here make your request).

"Through Christ our Lord. Amen."

[The readings for 14th Sunday of Ordinary Time are Deuteronomy 30:10-14; Colossians 1:15-20; Luke 10:25-37]

* * *

Basilian Father Thomas Rosica, chief executive officer of the Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation and Television Network in Canada, is a consultor to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. He can be reached at:

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20 posted on 07/10/2010 10:23:10 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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