Gospel for October 5, 2015, Monday

Claretian Communications Foundation, Inc.

Posted at Oct 05 2015 05:13 AM | Updated as of Oct 05 2015 01:17 PM

Jon 2:3, 4, 5, 8
You will rescue my life from the pit, O Lord.

Psalter: Week 3 / (Green)

1st Reading: Jon 1:1—2:1-2, 11
The word of Yahweh came to Jonah, son of Amittai, “Go to Nineveh, the great city, and preach against it, because I have known its wickedness.” But Jonah decided to flee from Yahweh and go to Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, found a ship bound for Tarshish, and paid the fare. Then he boarded it and went into the hold of the ship, journeying with them to Tarshish, far away from Yahweh.
Yahweh stirred up a storm wind on the sea, so there was a sea tempest, which threatened to destroy the ship. The sailors took fright, and each cried out to his own god. To lighten the ship, they threw its cargo into the sea.
Meanwhile Jonah had gone into the hold of the ship, where he lay fast asleep. The captain came upon him and said, “How can you sleep? Get up and call on your god. Perhaps he will be mindful of us and will not allow us to die here.”
The sailors said to each other, “Let us cast lots to find out who is responsible for this disaster.” So they did, and the lot fell on Jonah.
They questioned him, “So you are responsible for this evil that has come upon us? Tell us where you are from. What is your country, your nationality?” And Jonah told them his story, “I am a Hebrew and I worship Yahweh, God of heaven who made the sea and the land….”
As they knew that he was fleeing from Yahweh, the sailors were seized with great fear and said to him, “What a terrible thing have you done!” “What shall we do with you now to make the sea calm down?” The sea was growing more and more agitated.
He said to them, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea. It will quiet down, for I know it is because of me that this storm has come.”
The sailors, however, still did their best to row back to land. But they could not, for the sea had grown much rougher than before. Then they called on Yahweh, “O Yahweh, do not let us perish for taking this man’s life. Do not hold us guilty of shedding innocent blood. For you, Yahweh, have done this as you have thought right.” They took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm again. At this the men were seized with great fear of Yahweh. They offered a sacrifice to Yahweh and made vows to him.
Yahweh provided a large fish which swallowed Jonah. He remained in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights.
From the belly of the fish Jonah prayed to Yahweh, his God.
Then Yahweh gave his command to the fish, and it belched out Jonah onto dry land.

Gospel: Lk 10:25-37
Then a teacher of the Law came and began putting Jesus to the test. And he said, “Master, what shall I do to receive eternal life?” Jesus replied, “What is written in the Scripture? How do you understand it?” The man answered, “It is written: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and with all your mind. And you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus replied, “What a good answer! Do this and you shall live.” The man wanted to justify his questions, so he replied, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus then said, “There was a man going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him, beat him and went off leaving him half-dead.
It happened that a priest was going along that road and saw the man, but passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite saw the man and passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, too, was going that way, and when he came upon the man, he was moved with compassion. He went over to him and cleaned his wounds with oil and wine and wrapped them with bandages. Then he put him on his own mount and brought him to an inn where he took care of him.
The next day he had to set off, but he gave two silver coins to the innkeeper and told him: ‘Take care of him and whatever you spend on him, I will repay when I come back.’”
Jesus then asked, “Which of these three, do you think, made himself neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The teacher of the Law answered, “the one who had mercy on him.” And Jesus said, “Go then and do the same.”

Any time I see a poor person lying down in distress and misery on the streets, I instinctively think of the parable of the Good Samaritan. As usual, Jesus chooses the precise details to strike at the heart of the audience, and especially the teacher of the Law who asked him about the neighbor. Everybody knew the road from Jerusalem to Jericho with its curbs and the dangers of bandits. The wounded man is an absolutely innocent victim. He is alone and abandoned, unable to help himself. He is “half-dead.” In this story, Jesus places a Priest and a Levite, both from the special tribe at the service of the worship. Both pass on the other side. They avoid being contaminated by the poor man. Instead, a Samaritan who belongs to the despised neighbors and are considered heretics by Jews, is moved with compassion. The Lord describes all the possible details: the Samaritan treated the poor man’s wounds with oil and wine, wrapped those with bandages, put him on his own mount, brought him to an inn, paid for him to the innkeeper and promised to repay upon coming back.
Who of us has done something similar even just once? Do we love our neighbor?
Jesus, Good Samaritan of the humankind, be our strength and our model.

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