July 10, 2022

15th Sunday in Ordinary Time

How often have we said to someone, “you know better than that,” or to ourselves, “I know better than that,” when we have caused pain to ourselves or someone else. As we read the parable of the Good Samaritan, we may think that the priest and the Levite should have known better than to just walk by an injured person lying on the road. Were they not familiar with the basic command of loving God and loving their neighbor?

Moses is clear to the people as he is about to give Joshua leadership of the community. For this command I enjoin on you today is not mysterious and remote for you…No, it is something very near to you already…in your hearts; you have only to carry it out. So often, we fail not because of ignorance; but out of an unwillingness to carry out what we know we should.

Perhaps the priest and the Levite feared ritual impurity and put legalism above being compassionate to another. Maybe it was fear that they might fall victim to a robber if they stopped. Perhaps they did not see this wounded victim as an equal worthy of their care. There are so many reasons we find to justify our walking by those in need of our compassion. We do not have the time or the resources. If we give to them, we will not have enough for ourselves. Someone else will help. And so on.

Jesus is clear to the scholar. The Samaritan who treated the victim with mercy is the one who lived the command to love your neighbor as yourself. The Letter to the Colossians reminds us that we have received mercy and reconciliation in Christ. Each Eucharist nourishes and challenges us to go and do likewise.

Who is lying wounded on the side of the road, waiting for my compassion?

Let us pray:

Loving God, we thank you for the mercy you have gifted us with in healing our woundedness and implanting your law of love in our hearts. We pray that your Spirit will open our eyes to the wounds of others and fill us with courage enabling us to bring compassionate healing and love to those in need. Amen.


Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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About Mary Muehle

Mary is an Associate of the Blessed Sacrament, parishioner of Saint Paschal Baylon Church and a former chaplain at Grace Hospice in Cleveland, Ohio.