Pastor's Desk: 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time
This week’s article comes from Fr. Tom Cahill, writing for Intercom magazine.
On the Run
If you run, take note. Running barefoot is best. Results from a Harvard University study show that people are born to run without shoes. For two million years we ran barefoot, landing untutored, on the sides or balls of our feet thus letting our heels down lightly. However, since the 1970s when running shoes took off we have begun to develop a new gait. Now comfortably shod, we land heavily on our heels with every stride we take - with about three times the impact of barefoot running. This increases the likelihood of suffering stress-related injuries. So if you don’t want to put your foot in it, go au naturel.
Today’s First Reading (Deut 30:10-14) and Gospel (Luke 10:25-37) are about doing-a-what-comes-naturally. The First Reading tells us that it’s easy to find God’s word. It’s in our mouth and in our heart. Could anything be more natural than to listen to what’s so close to us? The Gospel describes the coldness of two types of law-observant people: a priest and a Levite. Both served the great symbol of established Judaism: the Temple, one in liturgy, the other in administration. Both feared contamination from a seemingly dead person. Both obeyed the rules - but betrayed their humanity. Both sacrificed the greater good for the lesser. Both put symbol before substance: the symbol of God’s presence in stone before the reality of that presence in flesh.
They ran their race wrongly. They ran from, because of law, instead of running to, because of compassion. Well shod, no doubt, they didn’t run barefoot.
Fr. Tom Cahill SVD, Divine Word Missionaries