Bulletin: July 10, 2022
Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Love God. Love neighbor. This is our call, the sum of all it means to live as Christ’s holy people in the world. Moses told the people that the law —all that sums up this call to love God and neighbor—isn’t far off, something distant and hard to reach. It is in our hearts and minds, on our lips. We have only to live what has been instilled in us through the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit, the fullness of God’s love that dwells in us through Christ. We who are baptized into Christ’s life rely on this presence as we extend ourselves in service as did the Samaritan who saw the need of the injured traveler and stopped everything to give comfort, care, and mercy. Such love of neighbor is an outpouring and sign of the love of Christ.
What does it mean to love God with all our heart, being, strength, and mind? We turn our hearts to God in prayer, quiet moments of reflection, and participation in the Mass and sacraments. Our whole being may turn to the Lord in trust in the midst of troubled times or when we need courage. We find strength to live as Christ’s people, even when faced with the questions, doubts, and derision of others. We may turn to the Lord with our mind as we prayerfully read sacred scripture and learn more fully the teaching of the Church. All of these things point to a singular desire to know God deeply. The love we have for God is, after all, a reflection of the great love God has for each of us.
Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan points to the impact our love of God is to have in our lives. The priest and Levite were more concerned with observing the letter of the law rather than living its essence. The Samaritan found himself unable to pass by without coming to the traveler’s aid. Who are the travelers whom we meet? What is our response? Are we so filled with the love of God that we cannot ignore the suffering of hunger or homelessness, the needs of the lonely and sick? Loving God necessitates loving our neighbor. We cannot have one without the other. Jesus shows us that the love we are to share is selfless, sacrificial. The Samaritan not only cared for the traveler’s wounds, but took him to find shelter and paid for his care. He went the extra mile on the journey of faith. Who is your neighbor today? How will you love him or her?