15th Sunday in Ordinary Time (C)
July 10, 2022
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.


O God, who show the light of your truth

to those who go astray,

so that they may return to the right path,

give all who for the faith they profess

are accounted Christians

the grace to reject whatever is contrary to the name of Christ

and to strive after all that does it honor.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,

who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

God, for ever and ever. Amen.

FirstReading  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."

Responsorial PsalmPs 69:14, 17, 30-31, 33-34, 36, 37

R/. 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.

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.

"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."

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.

Second Reading  Co1:15-20

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.

Alleluia Cf. Jn 6:63c, 68c

GospelLk 10:25-37

There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test Jesus 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."

Catena Nova

To interpret the parable of the Good Samaritan, one of the elders used to say that the man going down from Jerusalem to Jericho was Adam. He said Jerusalem was paradise, Jericho was the world, and the brigands were enemy powers. The priest was the law, the Levite the prophets, and the Samaritan Christ. Adam’s wounds were his disobedience, the animal that carried him was the body of the Lord, and the “pandochium” or inn, open to all who wished to enter, was the Church. The two denarii represented the Father and the Son, and the innkeeper was the head of the Church, who was entrusted with its administration. The promised return of the Samaritan was a figure of the second coming of the Savior. The Samaritan was carrying oil—“oil to make his face shine,” as scripture says, referring surely to the face of the man he cared for. He cleansed the man’s wounds with oil to soothe the inflammation and with wine that made them smart, and then placed him on his own mount, that is, on his own body, since he had condescended to assume our humanity. This Samaritan bore our sins and suffered on our behalf; he carried the half dead man to the inn which takes in everyone, denying no one its help; in other words, to the Church. To this inn Jesus invites all when he says: “Come to me, all who labor and are overburdened, and I will give you new strength.” After bringing in the man half dead the Samaritan did not immediately depart, but remained and dressed the man’s wounds by night as well as by day, showing his concern and doing everything he could for him. In the morning when he wished to set out again he took from his own pure silver coins, from his own sterling money, two denarii to pay the innkeeper—clearly the angel of the Church—and ordered him to nurse with all diligence and restore to health the man whom for a short time he himself had personally tended. I think the two denarii stand for knowledge of the Father and the Son in the Father. This was given to the angel as a recompense, so that he would care more diligently for the man entrusted to him. He was also promised that whatever he spent of his own in healing him would be repaid. This guardian of souls who showed mercy to the man who fell into the hands of brigands was a better neighbor to him than were either the law or the prophets, and he proved this more by deeds than by words. Now the saying: “Be imitators of me as I am of Christ,” makes it clear that we can imitate Christ by showing mercy to those who have fallen into the hands of brigands. We can go to them, bandage their wounds after pouring in oil and wine, place them on our own mount, and bear their burdens. And so the Son of God exhorts us to do these things, in words addressed not only to the teacher of the law but to all of us: “Go and do likewise.” If we do, we shall gain eternal life in Christ Jesus, “to whom belongs glory and power for ever and ever. Amen.” (Origen of Alexandria)

“Who is my neighbour?” In answer the Word explained, in the form of a story, God’s entire economy of salvation. He told of man’s descent from heaven, the robbers’ ambush, the stripping of the garment of immortality, the wounds of sin, the progress of death over half of man’s nature while his soul remained immortal. Then came the passage of the Law that brought no help—neither the priest nor the Levite tended the wounds of the man who fell among robbers—for “it was impossible for the blood of goats and oxen to remove man’s sin” (Heb 10:4). And then He came, clothed in our human nature as the first-fruits of the mass in which there was a portion of every race, Jewish, Samaritan, Greek — all mankind. With His body (that is, the beast of the story) He proceeded to the place of man’s disaster, healed his wounds and set him upon His own beast. He created for him the inn of His loving providence, in which all those who labour and are burdened can find rest (Mt 11,28). “Whoever abides in me, and I in him” (Jn 6:56). Whoever finds shelter in Christ’s mercy accepts two denarii from Him, one of which signifies the love of God with one’s whole heart and the other the love of one’s neighbour as oneself, according to the lawyer’s reply (Mk 12:30f). But “not the hearers of the law are just before God but the doers of the law shall be justified” (Rm 2:13). Hence we must not merely accept these two coins but we must, by our own good deeds, co-operate in the fulfilment of these two commandments. And so, the Lord says to the innkeeper, that whatever he does in caring for the wounded man will be made up to him at the Lord’s second coming according to the measure of his devotion.” (St. Gregory of Nyssa)

How good You are, O Divine Samaritan, to gather up this wounded world so sadly fallen along the way, trapped in such mire and so unworthy of Your Goodness! The more wicked the world, the more Your Mercy shines forth: to be infinitely good to the good, is a thousand times less admirable, than to be infinitely good to souls, who, even though lavished with graces, are simply ungrateful, unfaithful, perverse. The more wicked we are, the more the marvel of Your infinite Mercy gleams and shines. This in itself, suffices to explain, the great good that sin produces on the earth and explains, why You permit it. It makes way for an incomparable greater good – the exercise and manifestation of Your divine Mercy. This divine attribute could not be put into practice without it; goodness could be exercised and shown without sin but failure is needed, if mercy is to be manifested. Ah! My Lord and God, how Good you are! How Merciful! Mercy is, so to speak, the overflow of Your Goodness and what is most passionate in Your Goodness, the weight by which Your Goodness overcomes Your Justice. How divinely good You are! Be kind to sinners, since God is so kind to us – pray for them, love them. … “Be merciful as our Father is merciful” (cf. Lk 6:36). God “prefers mercy to sacrifice” (cf. Mt 12:7). (St. Charles de Foucauld)

There was a lawyer who stood up and to disconcert Jesus asked him: Master, what must I do to inherit eternal life? Jesus replied: What is written in the Law? What do you read there? This led to a question: Who is my neighbor? Think how often this question has been asked in good faith and out of ignorance. Couldn’t any reasonable seeker after truth ask it? Yes, but that isn't the way the lawyer asked it. Jesus treats his question as a temptation from the devil; in fact, that is the point of the parable of the Good Samaritan. Why do people keep asking but never get a final answer? The reply to this question is that people too often entertain themselves by wrangling over words. That so often leads to disputes that only corrupt people's hearts and confuse their minds! Such disputes lead to envy, strife, bad-mouthing others, even attributing bad motives where there were none. It is the kind of question one can forever learn about without ever coming to know the truth. It is a way of looking godly without letting God’s power into one's life. The problem is obeying God's word. Who is my neighbor? Ask rather, when you meet people in real need who is the neighbor? It is the person who can help. It's not a matter of who is one's kin or compatriot or brother or sister in Christ, or even who is one's enemy. Each of these answers can be true, or can be false. God has said we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. We are to obey. If you stop to ask questions about who qualifies as your neighbor you make an excuse for your non-obedience. The question is easily an act of rebellion against God's command. I want to do God’s will. Hasn't God given me enough information to start doing it? The real question we are asking is: What should I do? God has told you want to do. Someone is right there with you and needs your help. Isn't that true of your next door neighbor? You have as much reason to help the person next door, even those that person has no special title to claim your help, as you have to help any other person you encounter. Stopping to ask if that person has a special claim on you is throwing dust in your own eyes, as the lawyer’s question did. Didn’t the lawyer know the commandments? Why would he hesitate to do what he was commanded? To ask what makes someone your neighbor amounts to an effort to excuse yourself from obeying. So get on with the job! It isn't a question of who is my neighbor but of whose neighbor am I? Neighborliness isn't a quality others have but one God commands me to show. Every moment of our lives is a challenge to obedience and action. If others are in need they have a claim on us. We must behave like a neighbor toward others. Do you have to pause and think out what to do? You have to do the good it is in your power to do. You learn how to obey by trying to obey in whatever circumstances you find yourself in. Our consciences are distracted by sin. We are confronted by the call of Jesus to obey spontaneously. A rich young man came to Jesus and asked what to do to be perfect. He was called to discipleship. The lawyer came to tempt Jesus and was sent back to God's commandment. What is Jesus response if you hesitate when he repeats God's command? What is the reason for your hesitation? (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

On the one hand we are called to play the good Samaritan on life's roadside; but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey of life's highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. (Martin Luther King Jr.)

The key phrase in this familiar story that shows what the lawyer lacks is that the Samaritan was “moved with pity.” The Greek word is one that twists the mouth all out of shape: splagchnizomai (pronounced splangkhnizomai). Literally, this word means his entrails were stirred up at the sight. Here is a visceral response that didn’t need the benefit of the catechetical verse from scripture to be activated. The response of the Samaritan, then, was instinctive, a bonding with the victim who had been severely injured…. It is this bonding based on exclusion that Jesus thrusts into the face of his listeners by telling us that a priest and a Levite both passed the victim by but then a Samaritan came to his aid. Since the victim might have been dead, both the priest and Levite would have been rendered ritually unclean by touching a corpse. Ritual purity, like all kinds of purity, requires exclusion. One is pure only if something or someone is defined as “impure” so that the “impurity” can be purged from the social fabric. This kind of bonding by exclusion becomes so instinctive that it trumps bonding through sympathy with someone outside the group. The lawyer’s question came naturally to him because it was natural for him to place boundaries around who was a neighbor and who wasn’t.  The ethnicity of the victim in the parable is not given but Jesus’ listeners would have assumed that he was a Jew like them, most likely a Galilean. Samaria came between Judea and Galilee. This was a problem because all Jews hated all Samaritans and vice versa. When Jesus went through Samaria with his disciples, they were refused hospitality at a village they came to. The reason this Jew from Galilee would have been on the notoriously dangerous road from Jerusalem to Jericho, was because he would have traveled along the Jordon River to avoid going through Samaria on his way to Jerusalem. So, the traveler, in trying to avoid Samaritans, ended up encountering a Samaritan who helped him and undoubtedly saved his life! What Jesus is doing in this parable, then, is shock us out of our tendency to bond through exclusion and bring us back in touch with the deeper natural bonding through compassion for whichever victim we pass by. For a Jew of the time to help a Samaritan in similar circumstances would have been unthinkable. Such a person would have been a bad Jew—like Jesus. Likewise, the “Good Samaritan” was actually a bad Samaritan in the eyes of other Samaritans and all Samaritans were bad in the eyes of the Jews.…  Jesus knew better than most liberals like me that we don’t overcome prejudice by trying to be more logical about the problem. Our bonding through exclusion short-circuits rational thinking as the lawyer, the priest and the Levite demonstrate in much the same way as priests, ministers and social workers demonstrate today. What is needed is knowledge through our deepest natural bonds of sympathy with the other that has no boundaries. Then, we need not ask: Who is our neighbor? because, as Kierkegaard tells us in Works of Love, the person nearest us, no matter who he or she is, is our neighbor.  (Abbot Andrew Marr)

Having come to earth to proclaim and to realise the salvation of the whole person and of all people, Jesus shows a particular predilection for those who are wounded in body and in spirit – the poor, the sinners, the possessed, the sick, the marginalised.   Thus, He reveals Himself as a doctor both of souls and of bodies, the Good Samaritan of humanity.  He is the true Saviour – Jesus saves, Jesus cures, Jesus heals.  Each one of us is called to bear the light of the Word of God and the power of grace to those who suffer and to those who assist them — family, doctors, nurses — so that the service to the sick might always be better accomplished with more humanity, with generous dedication, with evangelical love, with tenderness. (Pope Francis)