Jerome on the Good Samaritan
reading for this coming Sunday, July 14 is Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan,
a priest and theologian, born about 347 and died on Sept 30, 420. He is best known for translating most of the
Bible into Latin, know as the Vulgate translation.
wrote: Some think that their neighbor is their brother, family relative or
their kinsman. Our Lord teaches who our
neighbor is in the Gospel parable of a certain man going down from Jerusalem to
Jericho. Everyone is our neighbor, and
we should not harm anyone. If, on the
contrary, we understand our fellow human beings to be only our brother and
relatives, is it then permissible to do evil to strangers? God forbid such a belief! We are neighbors, all people to all people,
for we have one Father.
don’t get too excited about the book of Leviticus and that I’m doing prep work for
a sermon from Leviticus likely won’t induce you to jump over the moon nor run
away with the spoon. However, if you are
intrigued by what may result by Sunday, I invite you to show up at 10:00 at St.
Paul’s, New Melle, Mo. St. Paul’s is
just north of the Catholic church on County D.
18-19, the statement “I am the Lord your God.” Or a variation of that is
repeated at least 20 times. The reason we
should not live as the rest of the world lives is because “I am Yahweh your
Elohim.” Therefore, don’t uncover the
nakedness of your parents or any women or practice any other sexual aberration.
be holy for I Yahweh am holy (Kadesh).” (19:2) Am I supposed to act like God just
because he’s God? Well, yes. Here’s the Gospel reason. “I am Yahweh your Elohim who brought you out
of the land of Egypt.” For us the good
news which tops even that is when Jesus, Yahweh become one of us, delivered us from
slavery to not wanting to do what God wants us to do. The Red Sea event cost pharaoh and his army
their lives. The event of the cross,
cost God his life.
shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.” Respect one another sexually. Respect your
parents. Worship faithfully. Take care
your neighbor’s need for food. Don’t lie to one another. Don’t cheat each other. Pay living wages. Don’t
slander one another. Stand up and defend your neighbor. Treat the stranger as
you would a member of your family.
from Leviticus is paired with Jesus parable of the hated, untrustworthy,
worthless, Samaritan who turned out to be a man’s neighbor. Jesus blows to smithereens all the reasons we
have for not taking care of others in their need.
Last week we moved from God’s greatness and majesty
To those whom God looks on in Grace
The humble and crushed.
We move from myself
To the whole congregation
to look upon all in our midst with care
including those humbled and crushed by life
Even the stranger, the refugee, the undeserving
Jesus says: Be neighbor to them as I was neighbor
church father, Cyprian wrote, “One cannot have God as Father who does not have
the church as mother.” Tomorrow as we
read God speaking in the Old Testament Lesson from Isaiah 66:10-14, we have
before us the image of a mother. In Isaiah
the mother image points to Jerusalem. For
us, it points to the church. It calls us
to rejoice in the church, be glad for the church, all who love her and all who
mourn her. For the function of the
church as Paul puts it in the epistle lesson is to act in a spirit of
gentleness. We read in Isaiah, “That you
may nurse and be satisfied from her consoling breast; that you may drink deeply
with delight from her glorious abundance.”
The church is to satisfy the longing for the pure spiritual milk of the
word. To in effect be a mother carrying
a child on her hip and bouncing it on her knee.
The church is to be like a mother who comforts her child as announced in
chapter 40, “Comfort, comfort my people.”
Whether we can
rejoice over the church or whether we mourn it as not being what it once
was. God still has chosen the church to
announce to the world as Peter did on Pentecost, “Turn to God and be baptized
in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins.” And then to offer the nourishment of the
sacrament of salvation, Jesus body and blood in Communion. Thus, all may taste
and see the goodness of God.