Liturgy of the Sunday

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Fifteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

First Reading

Deuteronomy 30,10-14

if you obey the voice of Yahweh your God, by keeping his commandments and decrees written in the book of this Law, and if you return to Yahweh your God with all your heart and soul. 'For this Law which I am laying down for you today is neither obscure for you nor beyond your reach. It is not in heaven, so that you need to wonder, "Who will go up to heaven for us and bring it down to us, so that we can hear and practise it?" Nor is it beyond the seas, so that you need to wonder, "Who will cross the seas for us and bring it back to us, so that we can hear and practise it?" No, the word is very near to you, it is in your mouth and in your heart for you to put into practice.


Psalm 18


The word of the Lord is pure and everlasting.

The heavens proclaim the glory of God
and the firmament shows forth the work of his hands.

Day unto day takes up the story
and night unto night makes known the message.

No speech, no word,
no voice is heard

yet their span extends through all the earth,
their words to the utmost bounds of the world.

There he has placed a tent for the sun;
it comes forth like a bridegroom coming from his tent,
rejoices like a champion to run its course.

At the end of the sky is the rising of the sun;
to the furthest end of the sky is its course.
There is nothing concealed from its burning heat.

The law of the Lord is perfect,
it revives the soul.

The rule of the Lord is to be trusted,
it gives wisdom to the simple.

The precepts of the Lord are right,
they gladden the heart.

The command of the Lord is clear,
it gives light to the eyes.

The fear of the Lord is holy, abiding for ever.
The decrees of the Lord are truth and all of them just.

They are more to be desired than gold, than the purest of gold
and sweeter are they than honey, than honey from the comb.

So in them your servant finds instruction;
great reward is in their keeping.

But who can detect all his errors?
From hidden faults acquit me.

From presumption restrain your servant
and let it not rule me.

Then shall I be blameless,
clean from grave sin.

May the spoken words of my mouth,
the thoughts of my heart,

win favour in your sight, O Lord,
my rescuer, my rock!

Second Reading

Colossians 1,15-20

He is the image of the unseen God, the first-born of all creation, for in him were created all things in heaven and on earth: everything visible and everything invisible, thrones, ruling forces, sovereignties, powers -- all things were created through him and for him. He exists before all things and in him all things hold together, and he is the Head of the Body, that is, the Church. He is the Beginning, the first-born from the dead, so that he should be supreme in every way; because God wanted all fullness to be found in him and through him to reconcile all things to him, everything in heaven and everything on earth, by making peace through his death on the cross.

Reading of the Gospel

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Luke 10,25-37

And now a lawyer stood up and, to test him, asked, 'Master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?' He said to him, 'What is written in the Law? What is your reading of it?' He replied, 'You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself.' Jesus said to him, 'You have answered right, do this and life is yours.' But the man was anxious to justify himself and said to Jesus, 'And who is my neighbour?' In answer Jesus said, 'A man was once on his way down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell into the hands of bandits; they stripped him, beat him and then made off, leaving him half dead. Now a priest happened to be travelling down the same road, but when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. In the same way a Levite who came to the place saw him, and passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan traveller who came on him was moved with compassion when he saw him. He went up to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them. He then lifted him onto his own mount and took him to an inn and looked after him. Next day, he took out two denarii and handed them to the innkeeper and said, "Look after him, and on my way back I will make good any extra expense you have." Which of these three, do you think, proved himself a neighbour to the man who fell into the bandits' hands?' He replied, 'The one who showed pity towards him.' Jesus said to him, 'Go, and do the same yourself.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia


"Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" It is a question that also others, like the young rich man, asked Jesus. Jesus asks that lawyer to open the Scriptures to find there the answer. And indeed he finds it as he quotes two passages of Deuteronomy and of Leviticus: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself." But that lawyer wants to distance himself from the indications of that Word and he objects: "And who is my neighbour?" (v. 29). Jesus does not answer with a speech rather he narrates the parable of the good Samaritan starting with the words that we have heard many times: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead."
The sides of that road have multiplied today in all countries. It is high, very high the number of those who walk along them passing on the side opposite to the poor as the priest and the Levite did. Jesus pointed to the two who deal with the things of God to underline the scandal of the separation between the love for oneself and the love for one's neighbour. When we are caught by ourselves we do not feel but for ourselves and we live with no compassion for others. By experience we all know how ready we are to be moved for ourselves and how difficult it is to be moved for others! The two were not moved and the half dead man remained alone.
Instead the Samaritan passed and as soon as he saw the half-dead man, he had compassion of him, the evangelist notes. And the compassion of which Jesus speaks is not a vague feeling that perhaps leads to some motion of the soul, but then leaves everything as it is. No, compassion led the Samaritan to get off his horse, to approach that half-dead man, to offer him the first care even though he was not a doctor, to load him on the mount and to take him to the nearby inn. Many Christian generations have seen Jesus himself in that Samaritan, who turned against the indifference of the world; the Gospels note several times, that Jesus began to heal those in need of care, had compassion on the crowds that were tired, exhausted, and abandoned like sheep without a shepherd. If the Lord Jesus is the good Samaritan, we are the innkeepers of the inn to which the many half-dead, exhausted, wounded men are entrusted. Jesus entrusts us those who nobody cares about. And he keeps repeating us every day: "Take care of him!"