Sunday Church at Home, 15th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle C

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

10th July, 2022

Sunday Church at Home

How To Inherit Eternal Life.    

The lay leader makes the sign of the cross, saying:

Leader:          In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

All reply:        Amen

Leader:          Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

All reply:        Blessed be God for ever

Leader:          Who is my neighbour?” This is the question asked of Jesus in today’s Gospel. His response has enormous implications for how we are called to relate to the world around us, particularly to those who are poor and vulnerable.

LITURGY OF THE WORD

First Reading: Deuteronomy 30:10-14

Introduction to the reading:

The events in this reading take place as the Israelites are camped on the shore of the Jordan River, ready to enter the Promised Land.  Moses makes it clear to the people that they are expected to remain faithful to the Lord after they have settled in their new land.

A reading from the Book of Deuteronomy.

Moses spoke to the people, saying,
“You shall obey the voice of the Lord your God,
and keep his commandments and his statutes
which are written in this book of the law
and turn to the Lord your God with all your heart
and with all your soul.

“For this commandment which I command you this day
is not too hard for you,
neither is it far off.
It is not in heaven,
that you should say,
‘Who will go up for us to heaven,
and bring it to us,
that we may hear it and do it?’
Neither is it beyond the sea,
that you should say,
‘Who will go over the sea for us,
and bring it to us,
that we may hear it and do it?’
But the word is very near you;
it is in your mouth and in your heart
so that you can do it.”

The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 19:7.8.9.10 (R. 8a)

Let us now pray the Responsorial Psalm:

R/. The precepts of the Lord are right; they gladden the heart.

The law of the Lord is perfect;
it revives the soul.
The decrees of the Lord are steadfast;
they give wisdom to the simple.

The precepts of the Lord are right;
they gladden the heart.
The command of the Lord is clear;
it gives light to the eyes.

The fear of the Lord is pure,
abiding forever.
The judgments of the Lord are true;
they are, all of them, just.

They are more to be desired than gold,
than quantities of gold.
And sweeter are they than honey,
than honey flowing from the comb.

R/. The precepts of the Lord are right; they gladden the heart.

Second Reading: Colossians 1:15-20

Introduction to the reading: Today and for three more Sundays, the second reading will be from the letter to the Colossians.  This letter responds to a widespread belief that God ruled the world through the mediation of angels who were given their own powers.  The author quotes an early Christian hymn that emphasizes that Jesus is the one and only mediator between God and the world.

A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Colossians.

Christ Jesus is the image of the invisible God,
the first-born of all creation;
for in him, all things were created,
in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible,
whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities—
all things were created through him and for him.
He is before all things,
and in him, all things hold together.
He is the head of the body, the church;
he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead,
that in everything he might be pre-eminent.
For in him all the fulness of God was pleased to dwell,
and through him to reconcile to himself all things,
whether on earth or in heaven,
making peace by the blood of his cross.

The word of the Lord.

Alleluia, Alleluia.
Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life; you have the words of eternal life.
Alleluia.


Gospel: Luke 10:25-37

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke.

At that time:
Behold, a lawyer stood up to put Jesus to the test, saying,
“Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

He said to him, “What is written in the law?
What do you read there?”

And he answered,
“You shall love the Lord your God
with all your heart,
and with all your soul,
and with all your strength,
and with all your mind;
and your neighbour as yourself.”

And he said to him, “You have answered right;
do this, and you will live.”

But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus,
“And who is my neighbour?”

Jesus replied,
“A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho,
and he fell among robbers,
who stripped him and beat him, and departed,
leaving him half dead.
Now by chance, a priest was going down that road,
and when he saw him he passed by on the other side.
So likewise a Levite,
when he came to the place and saw him,
passed by on the other side.
But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was;
and when he saw him, he had compassion,
and went to him and bound up his wounds,
pouring on oil and wine;
then he set him on his own beast
and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
And the next day he took out two denarii
and gave them to the innkeeper, saying,
‘Take care of him;
and whatever more you spend,
I will repay you when I come back.’
Which of these three, do you think,
proved neighbour to the man who fell among the robbers?”

He said, “The one who showed mercy on him.”

And Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection on the Readings

The leader reads the text prepared by the priest and leads the sharing.

The old Irishman was standing on a crowded bus in the old country. The young man standing next to him asked, “What time is it?” The old man refused to reply. The young man moved on. The old man’s friend, sensing something was wrong, asked, “Why were you so discourteous to the young man asking for the time?”

The old man answered, “If I have given him the time of day, next he would want to know where I am going. Then we might talk about our interests. If we did that, he might invite himself to my house for dinner. If he did, he would meet my lovely daughter. If he met her, they would both fall in love. I don’t want my daughter marrying someone who can’t afford a watch.”

Imagining having that old man as a neighbour!

If we listen carefully to the readings this Sunday, we will hear the whole  Catholic life very gently stated—even in this post-covid world, complete with load shedding and astronomically high petrol prices.

In the first reading, Moses describes how simple God’s command is. I would like to quote his words because they are beautiful.

“God’s commandment … is not too hard for you, neither is it far off.
It is not in heaven, that you should say,
‘Who will go up for us to heaven, and bring it to us,
that we may hear it and do it?’
Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say,
‘Who will go over the sea for us, and bring it to us,
that we may hear it and do it?’”

The commandment of the Lord is very near to us, already in our hearts and in our mouths. We have only to carry it out.

But what is that commandment?

In the Gospel, a lawyer is very interested in this question. He wanted to know about the duties necessary for salvation. So the lawyer asks Jesus to collapse the whole law down to a single saying. Since the answer is, to quote, “not too hard for you, neither is it far off,” Jesus asks the lawyer what he thinks it is. The man says, by rote:

“You shall love the Lord your God
with all your heart,
and with all your soul,
and with all your strength,
and with all your mind;
and your neighbour as yourself.

“You have answered correctly,” Jesus says. “Do this and you will live.” But the lawyer wants specifics. He is digging. He asks, who is my neighbour?

What would be our answer to this question, which seems to be the crux of the matter? For his part, Jesus is trying to get the lawyer (and us) to find a simple answer without being handed one. As before, Jesus does not respond directly, but this time gives the lawyer a parable to think about:

A man fell victim to robbers.

  • They beat him terribly, took his money, and left him lying in the road, half-dead.
  • A priest (an Israelite) saw this wounded man on the road and passed right by, averting his eyes.
  • A Levite (an Israelite) did the same thing.
  • Then along came a Samaritan, who theoretically should have been an enemy of the Israelis.
  • But he did not avert his eyes or cross to the other side of the road.
  • He approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them.
  • Then he lifted him up on his own animal, took him to an inn, and cared for him.
  • The next day he took out two silver coins
    and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction,
    •   ‘Take care of him.’

Now the lawyer starts to understand.

  • Jesus asks him, “which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbour to the robbers’ victim?” 
  • The lawyer says immediately, “The one who showed mercy on him.”
  • Jesus answers, “Go and do likewise.”

Jesus is not trying to slander the Israelis or the priest or the Levite. He is showing that your neighbour does not consist of just our own tribe or family or even just our friends. Every person on earth is our neighbour. Each is beloved to God, each is precious to the One we are to love with our entire soul, mind, strength. and being.

In the parable, we have priest, a Levite, a Samaritan and a half dead victim. With whom do we identify?

Maybe with the Samaritan.

  • He must have known from his own experience what it felt like to be “beaten up” and left behind.
  • His own experience as a member of a despised group, an outsider to the religious and national thinking of the Jews, may have made him respond to the victim by the side of the road.
  • We can reflect on the experience of the Samaritan and it is possible we can identify times when we have felt excluded, or victimized, or even judged by others.
  • Feeling and remembering what that pain felt like might help us be sensitive to victims of abuse, harassment, negligence, favouritism, racism, etc.
  • We don’t have to travel far to do this.
  • The road to Jericho might pass through our own homes, work places, and neighbourhoods.

But maybe we choose to identify with the “half dead” person in the ditch.

  • Where in our lives are we in need of the stranger, or outsider to come to our aid?
  • Have we ever been helped by one considered “outside” our circle?
  • Being aware of an experience like that can soften our attitudes towards people from a different culture.
  • The lawyer in the parable is surprised by what he finds himself having to admit: the Samaritan was the neighbour.
  • The Samaritan had compassion.
  • Once we can speak such truths, we can be assured the parable has helped us to see God.

Jesus says that each of us is beloved to God,  each of us is precious to the God we are to love with our entire soul, mind, strength. and being. Jesus keeps working with us, trying to get us to see the simple answer that hides inside us. God has given us an open heart. We want our hearts to receive God’s love and pass it on to our neighbour. 

From today’s Gospel reading:

But a Samaritan traveller who came upon him

was moved with compassion at the sight.

Reflection:

The Samaritan would have known from his own experience what it felt like to be “beaten up” and left behind. His was a member of a despised group, an outsider to the religious and national thinking of the Jew. Which may have stirred him to respond to the victim by the side of the road. He knew what it was like to be victimized.

So we ask ourselves:

  • What touched me in the readings today?
  • Can we remember an experience of being left out, treated as an outsider?
  • Does that experience make us more aware and sensitive to the plight of outsiders these days?Who are these outsiders?

Prayer of the Faithful

Leader:         

The Lord calls us to love our enemies and call all people neighbours, however much that may go against the world’s expectations. Let us bring our prayers to God.

Reader:

We pray for the Church: that we may follow Christ, the head of the Church, more closely and continue his mission of reconciling others to both God and one another.

LORD HEAR US

We pray for peace for families and communities caught up in violence and conflict in South Africa: that we may all be involved in working for peace and justice.

LORD HEAR US

We pray for our parish: that our deeds of compassion and loving service may be signs of God’s presence and action in the world.

LORD HEAR US

We pray for insight: that God will help us recognize our neighbour in the refugee, the homeless person, and the marginalized of society, and inspire our response to their needs today.

LORD HEAR US

We pray for a new encounter with the Lord: that through prayer and reflection on the scriptures, we may enter into a deeper relationship with Christ, the firstborn of creation and the first risen from the dead.
LORD HEAR US

We pray for members of our families and friends who have died and those whose anniversaries occur about this time.

LORD HEAR US

Leader:          Let us pray our PRAYER FOR SOUTH AFRICA

Gracious God,
we praise you for all who work for your kingdom to come.
We thank you for seeing South Africa
through many milestones in the past.
We are sorry for failing the vision of justice, peace and mercy.
Send your Holy Spirit to us in our present need,
as corruption, violence and crime scar our country.
Be with those who govern us.
May they work selflessly and diligently
so that our country may flourish in truth and in justice,
in love and in freedom.
Grant us a listening heart
and the courage to act justly and peacefully,
to love tenderly and walk humbly with You our God.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Spiritual Communion

We can unite ourselves to the Eucharist through making a spiritual Communion.

By making an Act of Spiritual Communion, we express our faith in Christ’s Real Presence in the Eucharist and ask him to unite himself with us.

My Jesus, I believe you are really here in the Blessed Sacrament.
I love you more than anything in the world, and I hunger to receive you.
But since I cannot receive Communion at this moment, feed my soul spiritually. I unite myself to you now as I do when I receive you. Amen.

CONCLUDING RITE

Leader:          Let us pray to the Father in the words Jesus our Saviour gave us:

All say:          Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  Amen.

Leader:          In Christ you draw near to us,
God of mercy and compassion,
lifting us out of death,
binding up our wounds,
and nursing our spirits back to health.
Let such a tenderness as yours compel us
to go and do likewise.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever.

All:                  Amen.

Blessing

A leader who is a layperson, using no gesture, says:

May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life.
Alleluia. Alleluia

All:                  Amen. Alleluia. Alleluia.

🕈🕈🕈🕈🕈🕈🕈🕈🕈🕈🕈🕈🕈🕈🕈

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.