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July 10, 2016: Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Arrianne Whittaker reflects on her journey from Providence Volunteer Minister to (soon-to-be) Postulant, as music plays in the background.There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test Jesus and said,
“Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read it?”
He said in reply,
“You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your being,
with all your strength,
and with all your mind,
and your neighbor as yourself.”
He replied to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.” (Luke: 10 25- 28)


Can you feel Jesus’ patience and love as He addresses this eager scholar of the law? Jesus knows the young man’s heart. Jesus knows the young man is seeking the “correct” answer for how to divide the world into “us” and “them.” Jesus is having none of that nonsense. Each and every human is a child of God and one of “us.” However, Jesus does not tell the young man the answer; Jesus calls it forth from the young man’s heart. This shows the young man that God will always guide him to the answer that will allow him to live his faith in each of his daily actions.

Jesus starts with the young man’s answer. If you read the italicized part above, it is the scholar who speaks the words of the Greatest Commandment. Jesus then provides the challenge of the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37). The young man must apply (bring life to) the words he has memorized.

To the scholar’s amazement his fellow Jews (“us”) walk past the Jewish man in need. An enemy (“them”) Samaritan man ensures the Jewish man is healed. Jesus quietly asks him just who followed God’s law. The young man’s answer is simply “the one who helped.”
Jesus challenges the scholar and each of us to go do likewise.


Each day this week find one situation where you can be the one who provides that random act of kindness. As the week progresses, move from noticing the changes you bring to others to thinking about how you feel as you practice loving your neighbor as yourself.

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Helen Flavin

Helen Flavin is a Providence Associate. She is a Catholic scientist, educator and writer. Helen received her Ph.D. in Neurochemistry from Boston College. She is a fulltime science teacher. She is a guest columnist for her Diocese’s Catholic Newspaper “The Anchor.” She enjoys volunteering at the local nursing home.

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