“Go and do likewise” (Luke 10:37)

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Deuteronomy 30:10-14

Moses said to the people: "If only you would heed the voice of the LORD, your God, and keep his commandments and statutes that are written in this book of the law, when you return to the LORD, your God, with all your heart and all your soul. "For this command that I enjoin on you today is not too mysterious and remote for you. It is not up in the sky, that you should say, 'Who will go up in the sky to get it for us and tell us of it, that we may carry it out?' Nor is it across the sea, that you should say, 'Who will cross the sea to get it for us and tell us of it, that we may carry it out?' No, it is something very near to you, already in your mouths and in your hearts; you have only to carry it out."

Colossians 1:15-20

Christ Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; 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 firstborn from the dead, that in all things he himself might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile all things for him, making peace by the blood of his cross through him, whether those on earth or those in heaven.

Luke 10:25-37

There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test him and said, "Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus said to him, "What is written in the law? How do you read it?" He said in reply, "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself." He replied to him, "You have answered correctly; do this and you will live." But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" Jesus replied, "A man fell victim to robbers as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead. A priest happened to be going down that road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. Likewise a Levite came to the place, and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight. 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. If you spend more than what I have given you, I shall repay you on my way back.' Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers' victim?" He answered, "The one who treated him with mercy." Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."

In this Sunday’s Gospel reading, we hear that a lawyer who wants to put Jesus to the test asks Jesus ‘“… who is my neighbour?”’ (Luke 10:29). He asks this question in the context of what is written in the Law, ‘“you shall love your neighbour as yourself’”(Luke 10:27). Jesus answers him with the parable of the Good Samaritan with which we are all familiar. Then Jesus asks him who was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of robbers. The lawyer replies, “‘The one who showed him mercy”’ (Luke 10:37).

Pope Francis in his General Audience on April 27, 2016 said that the Samaritan had “compassion” (Luke 10:33). That is, his heart, his emotions, were moved. Indeed, compassion is an essential characteristic of God’s mercy. God has compassion on us. He suffers with us; he feels our suffering. In the deeds of the Good Samaritan, we recognize the merciful acts of God in all of salvation history. It is the same compassion with which the Lord comes to meet each one of us: He does not ignore us, he knows our pain, he knows how much we need help and comfort. He comes close and never abandons us. But each one of us must see in our own heart whether we have faith in the compassion of this God who draws close, heals us, and embraces us. If we reject Him, He waits: He is patient and is always beside us.

The Samaritan acts with true mercy; he “went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day the Samaritan took out two denarii, give them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend’” (Luke 10:34-35) . Compassion and love is not a vague sentiment, the Lord’s commandment, “you shall love your neighbour as yourself” means we must turn compassion and love into acts of mercy (Luke 10:27).

At the end of the Gospel reading, Jesus teaches us to “Go and do likewise” and become neighbours to any needy person we meet (Luke 10:37). We are all called to follow the same path of the Good Samaritan, who is the figure of Christ: Jesus bent down to us, He became our servant, and thus He has saved us, so that we too may love as He has loved us.

Posted: July 14, 2019

Shiu Lan

Shiu Lan is your Catholic neighbour with a simple faith and likes praying the Rosary. With a B.Sc from the University of Hong Kong, she worked in Information Technology and Project Management before working with joy at home.

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