Jesus teaches the Parable of the Good Samaritan. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by pursuing the Virtue of Charity so he can be more charitable to God and his neighbors and by by building the Virtue of Generosity so he can be magnificently generous to those in need.
15th Week in Ordinary time – Sunday – Cycle C – Lk 10:25-37; 27th Week in Ordinary time – Monday – Lk 10:25-37
After Jesus systematically formed and sent the 70 disciples to various towns throughout Galilee to prepare for His coming visits, the 70 men return and Jesus rejoices, demonstrating to His men how to pray to God the Father. As His reputation grows, religious leaders come to question Jesus.
Jesus is tested by an earnest, but overconfident lawyer, an expert in Mosaic law, about how to obtain eternal life. Asserting His authority, instead of responding to the lawyer’s questions and rebuking him for his arrogance, Jesus mercifully asks the lawyer to answer his own question: the lawyer accurately identifies The Two Great Commandments (v. 27; Loving God and loving neighbor) as the key to eternal life. Astoundingly, Jesus gives an insight into eternity by boldly revealing that by keeping The Two Great Commandments, the lawyer will have eternal life.
Pushing forward, evidently in good will, the lawyer asks Jesus to help him understand the identity of one’s neighbor. In response, Jesus gives the timeless and powerful parable of The Good Samaritan. The parable is remarkable, tying in themes of violence and mercy, ethnic segregation and brotherly unity, religious blindness and true piety, the replacement of the Old Mosaic Law with the New Covenant, cowardly self-centeredness with heroic generosity. In the parable of The Good Samaritan, Jesus reveals that His Kingdom is universal, unifying all men as brothers who accept Him, and making heroic charity for one’s neighbor the standard for mercy, and a key criteria for a man’s salvation.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be joyfully inspired by the Charity, Empathy, and Compassion of Jesus which He presents in The Good Samaritan: Divine Prophet, He carefully designs the parable to condemn the false piety of some religious men, and then calls men to heroic Works of Mercy (a part of Charity); He explains His own Divine Kindness (a part of Justice) through the acts of the Samaritan; with beautiful Pathos (a form of Reason that appeals to the heart), Jesus crafts a beautiful and poetic parable which has moved the hearts of millions across millennia.
Be charitable to both God and neighbor
Realize: The Good Samaritan does not condemn religious figures (priest, Levite) or religious piety (ritual purity for the Temple offering) but clarifies that the Virtue of Charity (Lk 10:27) requires a man to put the love of God into practice by concrete acts of love; every Catholic man is called to justly demonstrate his love of God through many acts of piety (prayer, praise, mortification, reception of the Sacraments) and his love of neighbor by many Works of Mercy.
Believe: Reflect upon the Theological Virtue of Charity (CCC 1812-1813, 1822-1829).
Pray: Almighty Father, help me build the Virtue of Charity so I demonstrate my love for You by many acts of prayer, devotion and sacrifice, and I perform many Works of Mercy for Your children who are suffering.
Be magnificently generous to those in need
Realize: The Son of God created man in His image and likeness and gave man an inborn desire to aspire to the greatness of the heroic love of others; In The Good Samaritan, Jesus perfectly appeals to man’s nature and inspires the heroic love of neighbor.
Believe: Reflect upon the mandate to Love Thy Neighbor (CCC 678, 1033, 1706, 1789, 1807, 1822, 1844, 1878, 2055, 2067, 2196, 2447).
Pray: Jesus, Crucified Christ, help me build the Virtue of Generosity (a part of Justice) so I am filled with a desire to sacrifice for my neighbor, I am keenly aware of those in need, and I generously give to those who are suffering.