Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Word for the Weekend: July 11


The Good Samaritan by Johann Karl Loth (Click on image for larger version)

The weekend ahead finds us at the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time. It's time to read and ponder the scriptures we'll hear proclaimed and preached at Mass. You'll find the readings and commentary on them here and, if you're bringing children to church with you, check here for hints on helping children prepare to hear the Word. (Adults may find that site helpful, too!)

The gospel for Sunday, from Luke, has two major portions. The first is Jesus' command that we are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, all our being, all our strength and all our mind - and to love our neighbor as ourselves... The second is the parable of the good Samaritan. The first lesson for the day, from Deuteronomy, reminds us that the law of the Lord is not distant, beyond our reach, but rather is already in our mouths and in our hearts - we have only to carry it out. The second lesson, from Colossians, is an early hymn text in praise of Christ as creator and redeemer.

Please DON'T let the familiarity of the gospel be a free pass on preparing to hear these well-known words! Very often it's the texts we're most familiar with that require our greatest attention, even beforehand. As an exercise to tease you to wrestle with the gospel message, you might spend some time with Loth's depiction of the parable above and, even before reviewing the scripture, see if you can identify the six figures in the painting. Another exercise would be to ask yourself how the first part of the gospel message connects with the second - in your daily life...


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