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Find Christ in the people you meet

Based on the readings:Dt 30:10-14, Col 1:15-20, Lk 10:25-37

“Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.” Psalm 69, today’s responsorial psalm, sums up the rich meaning of this Sunday’s readings.

In Deuteronomy, after the Israelites’ 40 years of wilderness wandering, Moses gives them his final instructions before they enter the Promised Land. He stresses the importance of keeping the Ten Commandments of their covenant with God. He emphasizes the First Commandment to avoid all idolatry. Moses tells them that by following the commandments, they allow God into their hearts – the very place in which God wants to dwell in a personal relationship with them.

The reading from Colossians is often referred to as a “Christological hymn” singing the praises and glory of Jesus Christ. Paul stresses that Christ is God. Some of the Colossians, in error, followed false teaching and philosophy. Paul opposes the errors by teaching the primacy of Christ as the only Redeemer and mediator between God and man.

He explains Christ’s role in creation and redemption in order to help the Colossians return to correct belief in and practice of their faith.

In the Gospel, Jesus tells the captivating parable of the Good Samaritan. A badly wounded man was left for dead on the side of the dangerous road. Passersby ignored him; even people you’d expect to help him ignored him.

Along came the Samaritan who felt pity for the injured man, cared for his wounds and took him to an inn for more care. He paid the innkeeper to care for the wounded man and would pay for any extra expenses.

Jesus asks, “Who was neighbor to the wounded man?” The Jewish law expert answers, “The one who treated him with mercy.” Jesus says, “Go and do likewise.”

In his homily on the feast of St. Thomas the Apostle, Pope Francis said encounter Christ by reaching out to our “wounded brothers” in works of mercy – touching Jesus’ own wounds. Those who are hungry, thirsty, without clothes, humiliated, enslaved, imprisoned or hospitalized are examples of “the wounds of Jesus today…. We need to touch Jesus’ wounds, to caress them, to bind them with tenderness, to kiss them, and this literally.” The Holy Father explained we don’t need a “refresher course” to meet Christ: “It is sufficient to go out onto the street.”

New messenger, but same message!