October 9, 2017

Oct. 9

October 9, 2017:  Monday, 27th week, Ordinary Time

See 10 connections with today?
Legend below


Pope Francis homily
As the priest and Levite passed the half-dead man, when we see a calamity, we can pass by and later read about it.  But the Samaritan, a pagan and sinner, saw and didn't pass by; he had compassion.   Making the man his neighbor, he approached him, bandaged his wounds, took him to the innkeeper, whom he paid to take care of him.  This is the mystery of Christ who became a servant, humbled himself, and died for us.  Jesus is the Good Samaritan who invited the doctor of the law to do likewise.  The parable reveals the depth and breadth of the mystery of Christ.  The doctor of the law didn't understand the mystery but he surely understood the principle behind it, to help others get up.  
The innkeeper was bewildered at all this.  This is what happens when one meets Jesus.  Reread this parable and examine your attitude:  robber, cheater, corrupt, priest, Catholic manager, sinner?  "Do I approach and make myself a neighbor and servant like Jesus?
    Animate the whale
  • Jon 1:1–2:1-2, 11  Lord to Jonah:  “Set out for Nineveh, and preach against it.”  But he boarded a ship to flee.  The Lord hurled a violent wind, and the ship was at the breaking point.  The mariners, frightened, cried to their gods; they threw cargo out to lighten the ship.  Jonah had fallen asleep.  Captain:  “Rise; call on your God!”  Mariners / Jonah:  “Let's cast lots to find out who's responsible.”  The lot fell to Jonah.  “Where are you from, and what's your business?” / “I'm a Hebrew; I worship the Lord.” / "How could you!"  They knew he was fleeing the Lord.  “What shall we do with you?” / "Throw me into the sea, and the sea will quiet down." / “Lord, let us not perish for taking his life.”  They threw him, and the sea quieted.  They offered sacrifice to the Lord.  The Lord sent a large fish to swallow Jonah; he remained in its belly three days and three nights and prayed.  Then the Lord commanded the fish to spew him onto the shore.
  • Jon 2:3-5, 8  "You will rescue my life from the pit, O Lord."  Out of my distress I calledand the Lord answered me.  You cast me into the sea.  I said, “I'm banished but want to look on your temple again.”  My prayer reached you....
  • Lk 10:25-37  Law scholar testing Jesus:  “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” / “How do you read the law?” / “Love the Lord with your heart, being, strength, and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.” / “Yes; do this and you'll live.” / “Who's my neighbor?” / “Robbers beat a man and left him half dead.  A priest, then a Levite, saw him and passed by, but a Samaritan was moved with compassion, bandaged his wounds, took him to an inn, cared for him, and paid the innkeeper to care for him afterwards.  Who was the victim's neighbor?” / “The one who showed mercy.” / “Do likewise.”
      • CreightonWe have a "Jonah experience" of being swallowed and eventually spewed out when we going through hard times.  We might feel swallowed up and in darkness for days or years, till we're kicked back into the world.  Jonah ran away but clearly never stopped believing in God's mercy.  When you're overwhelmed and in darkness, pray like Jonah.  We can be too angry or afraid to call on the Lord, or we can doubt his mercy.  Maybe being buried in darkness is an opportunity to be reborn free of fear and appreciate the light and mercy.  The Lord will answer.  God wants us to show mercy to everyone we encounter.
      The good Samaritan story invites us to consider all we meet as neighbors, and to be a good, compassionate, merciful neighbor.  That's easy to people we want to impress, or we care about, or just like, but what about strangers, the lonely, the depressed, AIDS patients, addicts, or those who don’t look, talk, or believe like us?  How can we be a neighbor to people we hardly look at or are too afraid to care about?  If we see God in everyone we encounter, we'll open our minds, hearts, and beings, and show compassion because we're God's children.  Have I been a merciful neighbor today?
        The Good Samaritan/ Rembrandt
      • One Bread, One Body:  "A hell of a life?"  Jonah refused to tell the Ninevites to repent.  When he refused God's will, he felt compelled to flee, a tempest ensued, he was thrown into the sea and was in the belly of a large fish for three days and nights, and was regurgitated onto the shore.  If we say no to God, we begin living hell, separating ourselves from God and feeling we're being swallowed alive.  In our sin, we live in darkness, and like a dog return to our vomit.  A life of selfishness and  disobedience has pleasures and horrors, both before and after death.  May we give ourselves to the Way, Truth, and Life.
      • Passionist:  "Surprise our neighbor as God surprises us":  The Samaritan's hospitality was a surprise, as is Jonah's tale and message.  After Amos and Jonah prophesied woe, the Assyrians destroyed Israel.  Jonah speaks words of hope for the pagans and so would have been judged wrong.  When Israel returned from exile, it took work and time before they were reestablished.  Struggling to survive, it closed in on itself and became conservative. Like his people, Jonah disdains Nineveh, a place of brutality and oppression. He tries to escape God’s call to preach to the pagans, but God uses his story to challenge Israel.
      The people who heard the Good Samaritan story were humbled at his goodness.  From the book of Jonah’s perspective, Israel is invited to humility because Jonah is angry, unyielding, and uncooperative with God.  Jonah and Israel need a change of heart.  A challenge to change touches us deeply.  How's our hospitality?  Jonah shows great freedom and draws on the God of Israel to draw from.  Do we limit God’s freedom by not sharing the wealth from our experience of God’s love, not sharing how God surprises us, being hospitable in everyday things?  Can we hear in the call to love our neighbor an invitation to hospitality, to open our heart to all without limit?
        The Good Samaritan/ Morot
      • DailyScripture.net:  "Go and do likewise":  Jesus' told today's parable in response to a devout Jew who wanted to apply God's commandment of love in daily life.  For Jews the law of love was simple:  "treat your neighbor as you'd treat yourself."  The issue was the definition of "neighbor"; this man understood it to mean fellow Jew.  Jesus challenged him to see God's wider view of neighbor.  The parable shows God's wide love and mercy towards every human being.  Jesus' audience was familiar with highway robbery:  the road went through a dangerous narrow valley known for robbers who ambushed their victims and escaped.
      Jesus makes the supposed villain, the Samaritan, the merciful one as an example for status-conscious Jews.  The priest probably didn't want to risk ritual impurity; his piety got in the way of charity.  The Levite approached the victim but didn't help, perhaps fearing he was bandits' decoy; he put personal safety ahead of saving his neighbor.  We must be willing to help even if others brought trouble on themselves.  Our love and concern must be practical, going beyond good intentions and empathy.  Our love must also be wide and inclusive.  God loves everyone unconditionally; we must do good to others as God is good to us. 
        Jesus showed how far God was willing to go to share our suffering and restore us, overcoming sin, suffering, and death through his death and resurrection.  True compassion identifies and emphathizes with the one in pain and takes the pain on oneself.  Jesus' suffering brings us healing, restoration, freedom, and eternal life.  May we also lay down our lives out of love for our neighbor...
        Today's saints, from Universalis
        Dress legend
        • 'Whale' tie pin:  The Lord sent a large fish to swallow Jonah  (1st reading)
        • 'Sailboat' tie bar:  Jonah found a ship to go away from the Lord (1st reading)
        • 'Gambling' tie:  They cast lots to find out on whose account we have met with the tempest (1st reading)
        • 'Blood drop' pin:  "Don't charge us with shedding innocent blood" (1st reading)
        • 'Scroll' pin:  “What is written in the law?" (gospel)
        • 'Heart' pin:  The Samaritan showed the traveler compassion;"Love the Lord with all your heart..." (gospel); "you cast me into the heart of the sea" (psalm)
        • 'Coin' tie pin:  The Samaritan gave the innkeeper coins to take care of the victim (gospel)
        • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

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