FIFTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, YEAR C
10th July 2022
Deuteronomy 30:10-14; Colossians 1:15-20; Luke 10:25-37.
The parable of the good Samaritan teaches us that compassionate love has no boundary. The motivation to be compassionate is more than empathy which is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Compassionate love is a motivation to action that originates from the picturing the self in another. The first reading from the book of Deuteronomy takes us to the heart where compassionate love is born. It reminds us that the Word of God is near to us, it is in our hearts.
The priest and the Levite in the gospel, failed to assist the man who fell into the hands of thieves on his way from Jerusalem to Jericho because they were mindful of their religious and social boundaries. First they were mindful that the road from Jerusalem to Jericho is notorious for robbers. Secondly, their religious offices abhor contamination prior to temple duties. They failed to respond to the compassionate love that points to our common humanity. The boundaries created by self-defence and work ethics prevented them from attending to the unfortunate traveller.
In our contemporary society, the laws and principles of safeguarding has made a mess of compassionate love. While safeguarding laws protect the vulnerable, it has set a boundary to genuine compassion. In recent times, those working with the vulnerable have been made to undergo serious scrutiny and documentation that discourages genuine compassion. During the pandemic, I was forced to take the covid test after my booster jab by a care home personnel who was not vaccinated. Since the pandemic, it is no longer easy to go into the hospitals to administer the sacraments to the sick and the dying. We pray that in midst of a changing world, the Holy Spirit will continue to inspire our hearts to show genuine compassion.
Fr Anthony Ekpunobi, CM.