Sunday Homily (Full Text)

Sunday Homily

 A  teacher of the Law came and began putting Jesus to the test.
> And he said, “Master, what shall I do to receive eternal
> life?” Jesus replied, “What is written in the Scripture?
> How do you understand it?” The man answered, “It is
> written: You shall love the Lord your God with all your
> heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and with
> all your mind. And you shall love your neighbor as
> yourself.” Jesus replied, “What a good answer! Do this
> and you shall live.” The man wanted to keep up
> appearances, so he replied, “Who is my neighbor?”
> Jesus then said, “There was a man going down from
> Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell into the hands of robbers.
> They stripped him, beat him and went off leaving him
> half-dead.

> “It happened that a priest was going along that road and
> saw the man, but passed by on the other side. Likewise a
> Levite saw the man and passed by on the other side. But a
> Samaritan, too, was going that way, and when he came upon
> the man, he was moved with compassion. He went over to him
> and treated his wounds with oil and wine and wrapped them
> with bandages. Then he put him on his own mount and brought
> him to an inn where he took care of him.

> “The next day he had to set off, but he gave two silver
> coins to the innkeeper and told him: 'Take care of him
> and whatever you spend on him, I will repay when I come
> back.'”

> Jesus then asked, “Which of these three, do you think,
> made himself neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of
> robbers?” The teacher of the Law answered, “The one who
> had mercy on him.” And Jesus said, “Go then and do the
> same.”

> Homily:   Father Mike Kuse

> Blessed Sacrament Parish

> July 14, 2013 - 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time

> 10 AM Service

> Did you ever notice when you read
> the Scriptures that Jesus does not go on and on and
> on.   He just hits you right between the eyes - either
> you're listening or not listening.   But he
> doesn't fool around.   

> Who is your neighbor?   Most of us have boxed that in
> to mean my next-door neighbor, or the people who live across
> the alley, or the people who live down the street.  
> Jesus in this context is saying, “You must see the whole
> world as my Kingdom and everybody as your neighbor.”

> And so you must recognize your neighbor.   Did you
> notice that at the end of the story, the scholar never said,
> “The Samaritan did the right thing.”   He just
> said, “The one who showed pity and mercy.”   That
> was the rift between the Jews and the Samaritans, and that
> man was not going to give in.   And Jesus says, “Then
> just do the same thing.”

> Did you ever notice that every time we have Mass and after
> we take the bread and wine and it is consecrated, Jesus
> says, “Do this in memory of me.”

> He doesn't say, “What do you think about this?  
> Do you like it?”   He just says, “You must be bread
> that is broken, you must drink from the same chalice,
> because you are all made the same way.”

> Let's think for a moment - you and I have just been
> conceived.   We might say to our parents, “OK. You
> created me.   Are you ready for me?”   After a
> few months we might say, “You know, it's nice in
> here.   I don't know if I want to come out. Do you
> really love me?   Do you really want me?”

> Then when it comes to that moment he says, “It looks like
> I don't have any choice here so I'm coming
> out.   I sure hope that you're ready.”

> And what happens when you or I or any child comes from the
> womb of our mother? What's the normal reaction of most
> people?   It is to hold the child, to kiss the child,
> to stare at the child.   And we realize at that very
> moment that our lives have been changed, not just mom and
> dad - but the whole world has been changed.   

> So Jesus is saying, “Do you realize how that child came
> into existence?   The only way that child is going to
> know anyone else is if that child is surrounded with
> love.”   That is the image that Jesus is trying to
> convey to the scholar.   

> He says to the scholar, “You're trying to trip me up.
> And that's OK.   The Samaritan knows what he is
> doing because he is doing it from the heart.   You just
> want to know the law, but in my Kingdom you can't just
> know it - you have to live it and experience it.   And
> when you look at life, life comes from experiences.  
> You may think it comes form reading a book.   But it
> really comes from the experience of being around other
> people and seeing their weaknesses, and seeing their
> strengths. But the more we are around other people, and if
> we let them, they form us into this unique person who has a
> great gift to share.   Someone must receive it, someone
> must give it.”

> Our neighbor is not always going to be the person who is
> made in your image or likeness, or to mine. The neighbor may
> be quite different.   You probably look out your
> kitchen window and think,   “You know, I wish those
> people down the road would pick up their things.”

> Well, perhaps they are looking out their window and saying,
> “I wish those people would mind their own business.”

> But we are all neighbors.   Jesus says, “That's
> my message.   That's the only way the world is
> going to change.”

> If you think for a moment, and you are a first responder and
> you are called to a scene, and there is a fire, and there is
> a chance someone might be dying in that building,
> there's no time to say, “Let's have a quick review
> of what we've learned.”   Or, “I wonder
> who's in that house because I'm not going to go in
> there for just anybody.   I'll go in there is
> it's somebody I like, then I'll save them.”

> What would Jesus do?   Jesus would say, “Bend
> over.” And he would give one swift kick and say, “Get in
> there.   You don't need to have any review.  
> You don't need to make any judgment because no matter
> who it is that person is life, and love, and that person is
> your neighbor.”

> And you can always flip it around.   What if you are in
> bed and you smell smoke and you can't get out of bed on
> your own?   You can cry out, and you hope that someone
> will be your neighbor, and that someone will be responding
> with love to you.

> And so we come back: The Jewish man would not recognize the
> Samaritan, but the Samaritan recognized the person in
> need.   He not only said, “Can I help you?”  
> He also put the man on his animal, and took him to a place
> to be cared for.   

> Jesus says, “All you have to do through all your whole
> life is just keep trying to outdo me.   And if you keep
> doing that I promise you one day, that when you see me face
> to face, you will say, 'I understand.   I
> understand because you gave me the experiences throughout my
> life - to give and to receive. To love and to forgive.'
> ”

> May you and I pay close attention, because there is always
> that person on the side of the road - wherever it is.  
> And there is always going to be the Samaritan.   And if
> you notice in the Scriptures, Jesus will always take us to
> the Samaritans.   

> He says, “They understand with their heart.   And
> that is what I ask of you.”


> *****

> Monsignor Michael Kuse is pastor
> of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Quincy, Illinois.

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