Greetings on the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Readings: DT 30:10-14; PS 69:14, 17, 30-31, 33-34, 36, 37; COL 1:15-20; LK 10:25-37
There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test Jesus.
He followed all the commandments or so he thought. Jesus affirmed his understanding. But he went a step too far.
He couldn’t resist. He knew that of all the commandments there was one that he was not quite comfortable with or perhaps we can say he wanted to limit its scope to fit his idea of what it means.
And who is my neighbor? Or more accurate – Who is NOT my neighbor? Who can I treat differently/poorly?
Jesus answered with a story. He wanted to shake this young man out of his bias and self-justification and into the justice of God – mercy.
The priest and the Levite passed on the opposite side. Why?
- Worry about drugs, disease, or filth?
- Worry about the imaginary banditos hidden in the bushes?
- Worry they were late for an appointment?
- Worry that it would cost them money?
In contrast the Samaritan worried about none of these things rather worried he did not leave the inn keeper enough deposit to finish the healing work and promised to pay any balance due upon his return. Talk about a different perspective!
This unworthy enemy of the people was the one who obeyed the commandment.
Some additional commandments:
- You shall not molest or oppress an alien, for you were once aliens yourselves in the land of Egypt (EX 22:20).
- You shall not hand over to his master a slave who has taken refuge from him with you (Deut 23:16).
- You shall have but one rule, for alien and native alike. I, the LORD, am your God (Lv 24:22).
- Thus says the LORD: Do what is right and just. Rescue the victim from the hand of his oppressor. Do not wrong or oppress the resident alien, the orphan, or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place (Jer 22:3).
- Within you, father and mother are despised; in your midst, they extort from the resident alien; within you, they oppress orphans and widows. What is holy to me you have spurned, and my Sabbaths you have desecrated (Ez 22:7-8).
Tonight, July 13th into the 14th, ICE covers the land, desecrates the Sabbath, violates the commandments and ignores all the ancient warning regarding aliens in our midst. And our leadership is happy to oppress the Samaritans among us.
Go and learn the meaning of the words, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ (Matt 9:13a).
This ICE raid campaign is a great stain on the nation and a for-shadowing of what we are becoming.