Today’s readings provide a powerful foundation for preaching on the call of God’s people to be the People of Life and to take concrete action to defend the lives of the unborn.
As Moses said, the law of God “is not too mysterious and remote.” Often people complicate the Church’s pro-life teaching unnecessarily. In reality, it is simple. We are called to love people, not kill them. “Love your neighbor as yourself,” as the Gospel indicates. It seems that the scholar of the law thought the teachings were “too mysterious and remote.”
But they are not. “Love your neighbor” does not have distinctions, limitations, or exclusions. It includes our unborn neighbors. And to love them “as yourself” means first to recognize them as a person like yourself. The “pro-choice” mindset is, ultimately, just another form of prejudice, this time
directed at the people still in the womb.
Both the first reading, with the exhortation, “You have only to carry out,” and the Gospel passage, with its concluding command, “Go and do likewise,” call us beyond being pro-life in attitude to becoming pro-life in behavior. It is not enough for us to “believe” abortion is wrong; we have to intervene for those in danger of being aborted. The man who fell in with robbers, and in danger of losing his life, is also the unborn child. Many pass along the way and do nothing. They let them die. The priest and Levite knew the words of Moses in today’s first reading. They failed, however, to carry out those words.
The reason may be that they were afraid that this was a trap. Maybe the robbers were around the next curve of this road from Jerusalem to Jericho, which had come to be know as “The Bloody Pass,” and were ready to attack anyone who would stop to help the victim. The mistake that the priest and Levite made was that they asked, “If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?”
The Samaritan reversed the question, as we are called to do, and asked, “If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?” And so we must ask in regard to the unborn. Stop counting the cost and calculating the risk to yourself; start thinking about the risk to them.
All of our pro-life activity flows from our union with Christ. The second reading today is actually a commentary on the first few words of the Bible, “In the beginning, God created…” Paul shows us that this “beginning” is Christ. He is the source and purpose of all life, of all creation. To stand with him, then, is to stand with life, and against all that destroys it.
Digest of Articles from Catholic Blogs and Websites
July 14, 2013
15th Sunday in Ordinary Time
The lawyer in today’s gospel is not to be confused with the lawyers of our day. He was a student of the Torah–a word which is more properly translated as “instruction” or “revelation.” Today, he would be called a theologian. And he asks the question that is primary in the mind of every theologian, namely, how do we human beings achieve the fulfillment intended by our creator? Jesus gives the classic answer from Deut. 6:5 (love of God) and Lev. 19:18 (love of neighbor). Everything else is secondary.
Parable of the Good Samaritan
The Parable of the Good Samaritan is one of the most famous of all Bible Stories. Here is a commentary that goes beyond pious platitudes to real-life, practical application.
To this day, the road from Jericho to Jerusalem is long, winding, and desolate. The two travelers could have been heading back home after weeks on temple duty. Or they could have been on their way to the Temple for their shift (Luke 1:8). In either case, the priest and the Levite were in a hurry to get where they were going. The pious duty of liturgical prayer in one direction. Family who needed them in the other direction. It was too bad about the half-dead man in the road. But someone else would have to attend to it. They just did not have time.
15th Sunday: The Good Samaritan Next Door
The three ladies had been friends since high school. They all grew up in the same Church and were pretty active as Teens. Eleanor married Fred and had three children, one was still in college, the other two were on their own. Sally married Tom. Their two were in high school. Phyllis married Sam. They had two in college and one in the service. Eleanor and Fred, Sally and Tom, and Phyllis and Sam; they remained friends….to a degree. Time and children kept them busy. Sally and Tom, particularly, weren’t around all that much. The other two couples remained very close. All three families went to the same Church, but Sally and her family were not as involved as Eleanor’s and Phyllis’. Sally never had the time. Eleanor and Phyllis were concerned. They wondered if she and her family were even coming to Mass regularly. They didn’t want to confront her, but they did pray for her and Tom to return to a more fervent practice of the faith.