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Sermon Topics

Five Simple Words

Which of these three do you think proved himself a neighbor?
Luke 10:25-37

Sermon Topic Love

Sermon Week Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle C

Scripture Summary Luke 10:36

Keywords

A wise old woman, who had little formal education, taught her granddaughter to memorize this formula for a good life:

Wash what is dirty.
Water what is dry.
Heal what is wounded.
Warm what is cold.
Guide what goes off the road.

Grandmother's wisdom becomes most evident in the final ingredient of her good-life formula:

Love people who are the least lovable, because they need it most.

No less an Authority than the Lord Jesus totally confirms her wisdom in today's Gospel episode: the story of the Good Samaritan.

The Parable of the Good Samaritan reminds us that if we really want to lead the good Christian life, we must be ready to give of ourselves in service to others, even to those we like to think are unworthy of us.

The Good Samaritan story begins with Jesus telling a lawyer that the key to eternal life is obedience to God's law, which requires love of God and love of neighbor, both. "Do this," Jesus says, "and life is yours" (Lk. 10:28). Typically, the lawyer wants a definition of terms. "And who is my neighbor?" he inquires. Jesus then responds with the parable. . .

A man who has been beaten by robbers is left lying in a ditch, half dead. A Temple Priest comes down the road, looks at the distressed man and passes him by. Next comes a Levite (an assistant at the Temple), who sees the man also but does not help him. Finally, a third man, a Samaritan, comes along. He sees the man in the ditch and is "moved with compassion" (Lk, 10:33). He dresses the injured man's wounds, takes him to an inn to recuperate and pays for the accommodations. Jesus concludes the story by inviting the lawyer to answer his own question about who his neighbor is. "Which of these three do you think proved himself a neighbor to the man who fell onto the brigands' hands?" Jesus asks (Luke 10:36).

You know, every time we hear that question read we all want to go to the head of the class. The Samaritan [...]

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