Sunday readings in brief: 15 C
Deut. 30:10-14; Ps 68(69); Col 1:15-20; Lk `0:25-37
It is not too difficult to love
Dear friends. Today is the fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. We are almost in the middle of this season of instructions in the ways of the Kingdom of God. Today’s readings are talking about the commandments of God and how best to keep them for our good and the good of our communities.
In the first reading, Moses speaks to the people of Israel about the commandments that God had given them. The people were so much concerned about the external following of the law and many felt that it was a big burden for them. Many thought that the law was too complicated and far away beyond their reach. Consequently, many were excusing themselves from observing the law saying to themselves that it was beyond anyone’s reach. Moses taught them something that we too need to learn today, that the law is not in heaven or across the sea where no one can reach; instead, the law is in our mouths and our hearts. In our mouths because we keep on repeating it even without knowing and in our hearts because it is written there by our creator.
The law of nature is written in the heart of every human being. This is what makes everyone seek good and not evil for himself or herself. Naturally, everyone chooses what is or at least seems to be the best thing in any given circumstances. Even those who consume harmful substances like hard drugs or those who keep bad company or go to dangerous places, do not do it for the harm they eventually suffer, but because of the blind spots, it seems good to them.
In the Gospel reading, we read about the story of the Good Samaritan, which is so vivid that it became proverbial. For the Jews, a Good Samaritan was a paradox because there was mutual discrimination between Jews and Samaritans. Jesus tells this story to the lawyer to help him make a personal conclusion about who his neighbour was. The lawyer, like many of us, wanted to justify himself in front of Jesus and his disciples and demonstrate how well he knew the commandments by heart. To his surprise, Jesus showed him that knowing very well the commandments was not good enough to inherit eternal life. The practice of the commandment was the major requirement.
Many like the lawyer are very conversant with laws and regulations that are supposed to help us attain sanctity. However, the practice of these seems to evade us and is almost impossible to reach. Many consider the commandments of God a too heavy burden to bear. However, if anyone cares to meditate every a little bit upon the commandments, one will realize that they are similar to the crutches that help someone with injury on the legs to walk. The commandments are tips that help us to navigate along here on earth. They are meant to help us. This is what Jesus came to the world to explain to us in simple terms and that he summarized in one – The law of Love.
The Young Christian Students Motto is a great summary of how best to apply the law of love in our day-to-day life. SEE, JUDGE, ACT. Our eyes see many things but we need to make proper judgment and swing into action. These two verbs can save or destroy life. If our eyes are healthy, and our judgment well instructed, then our actions will always be profitable to us and those around us. However, if our eyes are clogged with impurities and our judgment is corrupt, our actions will always be disastrous to us and to all those who encounter us.
Dear friends, I invite us today to reflect upon the commandments of God and good Christian values, see the benefits they have in our lives and strive to follow them. Later on, let me know what results you have after some time.
Have a blessed Sunday.
Fr. Lawrence Muthee, SVD