Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - July 14, 2019
My dear parishioners,
Charity begins at home ... but it does not end there. Part of our Christian identity as Church is mission. We are a missionary Church. We minister to our own people, we take care of our Church family, but the work is incomplete if we do not think of extending that care outside of our boundaries, beyond the walls.
Jesus uses the story of the Good Samaritan to point this out. The story begins with a man on his way to Jericho, who fell victim to robbers, who was beaten and left half-dead. A Levite sees him but passes him by for fear of religious impurity. Touching him would mean he becomes impure. A Samaritan goes beyond dictates of law, and goes out of his way to help. He brings him to an inn, where he is safe, but also pays to make sure he recovers fully from his condition. And so in answering the question: who is my neighbor? - Jesus’ answer is: YOU become a neighbor.
The challenge for us is to see beyond our walls. We should not just be asking who are my neighbors, but start crossing those walls extending a hand to become a neighbor. The challenge is to break the barriers that would hinder me from heeding the call to help. We become neighbors when like the Good Samaritan, we treat others, irregardless of who they are, “with mercy”.
This Sunday we are called to be a Missionary Church. We should be ready to look beyond our walls, to become a neighbor, and to treat others ...everyone... with mercy.
In Opus Ministerii,
Fr. Gius Garcia