Pastor's Desk: 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted 13th July 2013 in Pastor's Desk

In place of the Pastor’s Desk this week, we include the following extract from Intercom Magazine:

The Deep End - An Outsider Teaching an Insider What the Insider Should Have Known

Parables are never what they seem. They have a clever way of causing confusion and forcing you to figure out what is really going on beneath the surface. The Samaritan, an outcast, is made the hero of this story. This would have caused outrage amongst those who heard the parable. The oil and the wine have a significant part to play as the priest and Levite may have had such items with them for making sacrifices in the Temple. It is, however, the Samaritan who offers correct worship to God as he uses the oil and wine to clean the man’s wounds. Jesus spoke about a God who was not concerned with the constraints of the Temple, but God who was in the streets. Look at what the Samaritan does for the man on the road: bound his wounds, poured oil, took him to an inn etc. They are all action words. The emphasis in this parable is on action and on compassion. The lawyer is concerned with the limits to ‘love of neighbour’. But there are no limits, no boundaries, no outsiders in God’s Kingdom. Holiness is not separation from the marginalised, but proximity to them.

‘Our prayer, our worship, our fasting are of little value to God if we have ignored those of God’s children who suffer on the margins of our societies. We are Christians who follow the message of Jesus, not because we say “Lord, Lord”… it is in our compassion that we imitate God who is compassion’ (Peter McVerry)

Jane Mellett

Leave a Reply