Saturday, June 4, 2016

Thru Samaria

Lectio LK 9:51-56

When the days for Jesus to be taken up were fulfilled,
he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem,
and he sent messengers ahead of him.
On the way they entered a Samaritan village
to prepare for his reception there,
but they would not welcome him
because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem.
When the disciples James and John saw this they asked,
“Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven
to consume them?”
Jesus turned and rebuked them,
and they journeyed to another village.


The time for Jesus’ mission to be fulfilled was approaching.  He started out to go towards Jerusalem.  To get  there, He had to travel through the land of Samaria, an adversary of the Jews.  V 53-4 They did not welcome Him, which is insulting because Middle Eastern peoples have an obligation to be hospitable towards strangers.  Not only that, they knew He was a prophet on His way to Jerusalem.  This means their refusal to accept a religious teacher was a rejection of His teachings.  This is why Jesus’ apostles were angered at such an insult of their rabbi.  V. 53-54 Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?  But in V. 55 we see that Jesus did not think or feel as His apostles did.  Jesus is the Savior of all mankind, not a castigator.  The Samaritans did not know who they were rejecting.

 Saint Vincent de Paul relates.  Saint Vincent followed Christ in his treatment of all mankind equally.  He built hospitals and shelters for the poor and even convicts.  His love of the poor has grown into an international ministry and the Saint Vincent de Paul Society looks to him as their patron.  He, along with Louise de Marillac found the Daughters of Charity.  He also founded an order of priests, the Vincentians.  He is known as “Apostle of Charity.”


There are more and more people today who claim to have no religious affiliation, whatsoever.  Should we bother with them?  Would you ask God to rain down fire from heaven to consume them?  God doesn’t punish.  Remember that.  Jesus spread divine goodness everywhere He went.  Jesus talks to everyone, including Samaritans.  The conversation takes place in words and actions, from the stable to the tomb and beyond.  If you want to see divine goodness in the world today, look at Saint Vincent de Paul.  Saint Vincent’s works are still carried on today by those whom follow his spirituality.  They bring divine light, healing, and liberation where it is needed. Our work is to do likewise, the best that we can.  With God’s grace we will also spread divine goodness.


O God, who for the relief of the poor, and the formation of the clergy, endowed Saint Vincent de Paul with apostolic virtues, grant, we pray, that, afire with that same spirit,
we may love what he loved and put into practice what he taught.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
  (Collect from the Memorial of Saint Vincent de Paul)


May we always strive to love and serve all of mankind.

No comments:

The Question Behind the Question

The Question Behind the Question : On the afternoon of June 14, a rather spirited, fascinating, and unexpected debate broke out on the floor...