Lectionary Reflections: Fifteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time [c] July 10, 2016

Engaging Faith | Tue, Jul 5, 2016

By John Bucki, S.J.
Source: Center of Concern

Lectionary Reflections: Fifteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time [c] July 10, 2016


Deuteronomy 30:10-14

Colossians 1:15-20

Luke 10:25-37



July 6: Íd al-Fitr at end of Ramadan

July 14: Feast of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American to be canonized and the patron saint of ecology and the environment

July 18: Birthday of Nelson Mandela

July 18: Nelson Mandela International Day (



Each one of us can be a bridge of encounter between diverse cultures and religions, a way to rediscover our common humanity.

-Pope Francis @Pontifex, 21 May 2016

The first question which the priest and the Levite asked [on the Jericho Road] was: ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?'  But...the Good Samaritan reversed the question: ‘If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?'

-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The story of the Good Samaritan, who did all he could to help a victim of crime, a stranger, is a model for us today. We must be willing to stop and help victims of crime recover from their physical and emotional wounds.

-Catholic Bishops of the United States, Responsibility, Rehabilitation, and Restoration: A Catholic Perspective on Crime and Criminal Justice

  … the goal of economics and politics is to serve humanity, beginning with the poorest and most vulnerable wherever they may be …

-Pope Francis, 15 June 2013

The Old Testament prophets emphasize that worship and prayer are not pleasing to God unless they are accompanied by practical works of justice and charity.  We must acknowledge the call to commit ourselves ever more generously to working for justice and the liberation of the oppressed. 

-John Paul II, General Audience, 10 January 2001

From century to century the Christian community, in revealing and communicating its healing love and the consolation of Jesus Christ, has reenacted the gospel parable of the Good Samaritan in caring for the vast multitude of persons who are sick and suffering. This came about through the untiring commitment of all those who have taken care of the sick and suffering as a result of science and the medical arts as well as the skilled and generous service of healthcare workers.

-John Paul II, Christifideles Laici, 53

We Christians should embrace with affection and respect Muslim immigrants to our countries in the same way that we hope and ask to be received and respected in countries of Islamic tradition. … Faced with disconcerting episodes of violent fundamentalism, our respect for true followers of Islam should lead us to avoid hateful generalizations, for authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.

-Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, 253


Thoughts for Your Consideration

At the end of the story Jesus simply says, “Go and do likewise.”

Love God and love neighbor.

Take care of those in need.

Take a risk to offer help.

Even take care of those who are of a different group than your group.

The “Good Samaritan” story calls us to reflect on many aspects of Catholic Social Teaching: the dignity of every human person, the option for the poor and all those in need, the principle of solidarity, the connection between love of God and love of neighbor, and other themes as well. (In light of current public policy discussions, it might even invite us to reflect on what our social teaching says to us about welcoming of refugees and migrants.)


Jesus is asked: “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” It seems that eternal life begins to happen when two things come together: love of God and love of neighbor. One alone is not enough to really be alive – to really have eternal life.

Jesus is asked:  “Who is my neighbor?”  The neighbor turns out to be unexpected – to be the Samaritan – the foreigner – the one who goes out of the way to reach out to the person who needs help. The neighbor turns out to be the person in need – the unknown person in need on the side of the road.   The neighbor turns out to be the traveler who takes a risk and stops and helps out a person in need.

To read the rest of this reflection from John Bucki, S.J., as well as his reflection questions, faith in action links, prayers of intercession, and prayer meditations, become a member of Education for Justice:

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