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Sunday Homily (July 10, 2022) Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (C)

 

 

Why do we need law in our lives? Regardless of its imperfection, yes, we do need law. Law can provide us with a kind of moral compass. However, we need to realize that observing a particular law can sometimes entrap us into believing that following it exactly is the most important thing in life. We need to remember that true law is not from without, true law is from within. To follow what the law tells us to do is to express the spirit of that law. Thus, when we say we follow Jesus’ Golden law ‘love God equals loving others’ we are not forcing ourselves to love others because we want to love God. It means that we allow the Spirit of God inscribed within our hearts to reveal the universal love of God towards all creation.

 


The Good Samaritan in Jesus’ parable reveals this awareness. His action of lending a helping hand to the robbed person does not come from a sense of obligation. It was a natural embodiment of the Spirit of God which makes him opening himself as a response to the call of the marginalized persons.


Jesus himself, is the perfect embodiment of this loving Spirit of God. As we have heard from the second reading, he is the image of God’s love. He perfectly reveals God loves through his own life as an “unending welcome” for the Others. When most of us think about encountering the others as an act of giving to the needy among us, Jesus reminds us that it is not only about giving (or donating, if you will) but also welcoming the Others as the Others. Jesus through his parable of the Good Samaritan reminds us that the initial difference between the priest, the Levite, and the Good Samaritan lies in that the first two did not welcome the presence of the mugged person lying on the street. The parable really tells us how difficult it is to open ourselves to welcome the Others as they are. More often we are prone to hastily give our donations rather than receiving the mystery of God’s love being offered to us through the presence of the suffering others. To welcome the others as they are is to open ourselves to the mystery of God’s work in the lives of the others. The offering of our donations to others will flow naturally when we first allow ourselves to welcome others with all of the treasures from God offered to us. Thus, when we are encountering the suffering others, it is not us who initially needs to offer something to them. First, we need to welcome them because they are offering the reality of God’s love to us. To welcome the others is not only to open our doors for them. To welcome others is to accept the mystery of God’s love revealed through them.


My dear brothers and sisters, sometimes it is so easy to let ourselves hiding behind the law we observe in our daily lives. But I believe it is much easier for us to welcome the others in our lives. We can force ourselves to follow the law. But it is easier and more natural for us to follow our natural inclination to welcome others in need. As Jesus reminds us today: Go and do likewise. Go and be human naturally, unburdened by law and filled with love.

 


 

By Fr. Firmansyah Antonius, SJ

 

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