FIFTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
First Reading: Deuteronomy 30: 10-14
10 when you obey the Lord your God by observing his commandments and decrees that are written in this book of the law, because you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
When we turn to the Lord with all our hearts, he extends his loving arm to support us. He knows our hearts and our efforts; he understands all our struggles and in his great mercy picks us up each time.
14The word is very near to you; it is in your mouth and in your heart for you to observe.
We are the blessed ones because we do not have a God who is distant and unrealistic. We are children of a God who came down himself and lived among us. Then before his death, he established the Holy Eucharist for us to remain united in him. Christ Jesus the Word of God, lives in us! Therefore, we must turn our hearts to him and pay attention to his gentle whispers!
When we are open to him, we hear him throughout our day! Whether through a friend, family member, post or podcast he is constantly reaching out to us. The question is, how well do we incline our hearts and ears to listen!
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 69: 14, 17, 30-31, 33-34, 36, 37
14 rescue me from sinking in the mire; let me be delivered from my enemies and from the deep waters.
The Lord answers us when we turn our hearts to him. In humility and repentance, there is forgiveness and redemption.
Second Reading: Colossians 1: 15-20
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation;
Christ is the firstborn and through him, we are all children of the same Father our God. Thus we are co-heirs and brothers and sisters of Christ! We are unworthy creatures and yet completely redeemed in Christ; so that we may run to the bosom of the Father in faith and courage.
20 and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.
God willed his only son blameless and holy, to attain human form and bear our guilt! How much must our God love us??! We are blessed and rescued in the blood of Jesus!
Gospel: Luke 10: 25-37
29 But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
We see here a lawyer, trying to debate with Jesus about the Law! While Jesus provides him with a suitable reply, the lawyer persists in a Shylock-like trait. (One is reminded that the character in Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice, is a Jew too!) Do we linger in our doubts and hesitate in lending a kind word/ hand too? Then Shylock-like, do we too try to question everything, without standing firm in our faith?
Now, looking at the man traveling from Jerusalem – he was moving away from the city of God! May we realize who our neighbor is and in need of our support, kindness, and love! Do we know of anyone being misled? May we help that person in spirit, by praying for them and in words and actions showing our concern for them! We must pray to the Holy Spirit for ourselves too, for the discernment in reaching out, because in today’s world this is a tough choice sometimes!
37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
In concluding the message, Christ emphasizes that love and mercy are above everything else!
May we go and do likewise!
Amen, Amen, Amen!