GOOD NEWS: Br. Silas Henderson, SDS, who provided adult faith formation opportunities before he moved to Tucson, has offer to give a two-hour “retreat for busy people” at Pius on Saturday morning, August 24, from 9 to 11 am. The retreat is titled The Magnificat: making Mary’s song your own. More information will follow, but please mark your calendar to take advantage of this opportunity. This will replace the reflection which had been scheduled for Tuesday evening, August 27th.
Wednesday I had my first visit with the doctor since the operation 6 weeks ago. He said he was please with the x-rays, that the plate and all the screws were aligned as he wanted. He put another cast on for the next four weeks, allowing very limited weight to be put on during that time. I will remain where I am and go back to the doctor on July 31. Thank you for your continued prayers and support.
I recently received an e-mail from Fr. Fernando Zapeta, the pastor of our sister parish in Guatemala, with two pieces of information.
First, with their celebration of the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ on June 20th, they began their parish “Missionary Week,” in which the Blessed Sacrament will visit the home of every parishioner. The celebration concluded on July 7th with the Mass of the Martyrs (We will remember the martyrs of our sister parish the weekend of July 27/28).
Second, they are nearing the completion of badly needed renovations to the parish hall, being done with materials purchased with money from our collection. When they are finished, hopefully sometime this month, they will offer a special Mass for our intentions, in thanksgiving for our support. Pius Parishioners Always Come Through!!!
Our readings pick up the theme from last week of the place of law in our lives. Our first reading says the law is not up in the sky or across the ocean, that is, far away, but rather is in our very hearts, as close to us as can be. I will return to this.
In the Gospel, a lawyer is putting Jesus to the test, asking what he must do to gain eternal life. Jesus turns the question back on him and he gives the right answer: it all comes down to love of God and love of neighbor. Jesus’ responds: do this and you will live. In other words, it isn’t enough to KNOW but we must LIVE the law of love. We must DO it. The lawyer persists and, in response, Jesus shares one of the best known and loved parables, the parable of the Good Samaritan.
We are not told the motives of the religious leaders who passed by the needy man, but we are told the Samaritan’s: he was moved with compassion. Notice that “compassion” is a “heart” word, literally “with passion.” Though, as a Samaritan, he was hated and shunned by Jews, including the victim, his heart moved him to action.
That my friends, is the lesson for us. The law is not in the sky or across the water, it is in our hearts. We need to feel “with compassion” when someone is in need, even if they do not belong to our group or our religion or our country or or…or……
No doubt it is a challenge and our culture seems to be moving in the opposite direction. That makes it all the more important that, as followers of Jesus, we grow in our ability to be the Good Samaritan to others, especially those who do not have resources and others to help or protect them. We have to be witnesses to the love of neighbor that Jesus espoused and lived. Our hearts need to grow more and more to be like the heart of the Good Samaritan, like the heart of the Good Shepherd, like the heart of the Son of God who gave all for us.
I invite us to reflect this week on the compassionate heart of Jesus, asking ourselves how compassionate we are. When do I tend to be compassionate? How can I grow in compassion? What is one concrete situation in which I can learn to be more compassionate and how can I do it? And let us support each other’s effort in prayer.