The Jesuit Father Michel Ntangu introduces us to meditation, with the readings of the 15th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ!
The texts of this 15e Sunday of ordinary time speak on the one hand of the observance of the law of God according to the old testament and on the other hand the law of charity, more particularly of the love of neighbor, chosen refrain of the gospel of Christ.
The first reading that we have just listened to reports that the law that the Lord prescribes to us is not above our strength. It is not necessary to seek it far from us. It is neither in the heights nor in the distance beyond the seas. She is not out of reach. “This Word is very close to you so that you put it into practice» as Deuteronomy says 30.10-14. While Psalm 18 adds: “The commandment of the Lord is clear, it clears the eye”.
Moreover, in the Gospel of Luke (10,25-27), this question on the observance of the precepts and commandments of God is traced back to us from a decisive and fundamental question that any Christian who aspires to holiness of life must arise:Master, what must I do to have eternal life?The first is general:What can I do to have eternal life?The question was put to Jesus by a doctor of the Law who wanted to put him to the test, Saint Luke tells us.
Jesus asked him:What is written in the Law? And how do you read?“. The other replied:You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your understanding, and your neighbor as yourself. Jesus said to him:You answered correctly. Do this and you will have life“. Christ, however, reminds him of what Jewish law had formulated for a long time, in a scattered way. But he, wanting to show that he was a righteous man, said to Jesus:And who is my neighbour?Jesus responds by telling the story of a man who was coming down from Jerusalem to Jericho. He will be the victim of aggression and left half dead by the brigands. By chance, a priest and a doctor of the law cross the path of this unfortunate but bring him no help. Both know the command well:You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart… You shall love your neighbor as yourself“. “But a Samaritan, who was traveling, came to him and took care of him.” “Which of the three do you think was next to the man who fell into the hands of the bandits?»
Thus formulated in this beautiful parable, the question of Jesus leads to an obvious answer. The doctor of the law replies:The one who showed kindness to him.” Jesus said to him:Go, and you too, do the same.” Love is the fulfillment of the whole law (Rom 13,10). The next one is no longer the most fragile, the injured on the road, it’s the one who got close, and therefore the one the Samaritan rescued.
Through the story of the hospitality and charity offered by the Good Samaritan, Jesus indicates the path by which one must pass in order to have a share in eternal life. It reminds us that God’s commandment and love of neighbor are intimately linked to us and also shows the need to put it into practice. Since God made himself one of us by taking our human condition, it is difficult to be oneself without struggling with the question of man and the question of God. Man and God are now going through the same story.
Dear brothers and sisters,
This Gospel page retains all its force today because it invites us to find the meaning of today’s question: “What must I do to have eternal life?“The answer is simple:”Go and do the same“. Take care of every man like the Samaritan, because every man is now your neighbour. The neighbor is every human being, every man whether he is my friend or my enemy, a foreigner or an extra community. So it’s every man created in the image of God.
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15th Ordinary Sunday Meditation C: “Love is the Fulfillment of the Law” – Vatican News
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