Not Fleeing from Our Vocation as Good Samaritans, 27th Monday (I), October 5, 2015

Fr. Roger J. Landry
Visitation Convent of the Sisters of Life, Manhattan
Monday of the 27th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I
Memorial of St. Faustina Kowalska
October 5, 2015
Jon 1:1-2:1-2.11, Jon 2:3-5.8, Lk 10:25-37


To listen to an audio recording of today’s homily, please click below: 


The following points were attempted in the homily: 

  • Jonah was running away from God, from his vocation.
  • As Jesus describes in the Gospel, we have all received the vocation to be a Good Samaritan, to be neighbor to anyone and everyone in need, to cross the road with mercy and compassion. Many times we’re tempted to run away from this vocation just like Jonah did his. We have lots of good excuses, lots of things we need to do that we prioritize over charity. We have lots of “ships to Tarshish.” But Jesus wants us to grasp that the most important thing we need to do, the greatest way we can serve him, is by loving God with all we’ve got and loving our neighbor, the concrete neighbor in need whom we encounter each day. Loving that neighbor in deeds is what he wants.
  • Today the Church celebrates the Feast of St. Faustina Kowalska, the “secretary” of the Lord Jesus to reveal to us the mystery of his divine mercy. The deepest reading of the Parable of the Good Samaritan is that we were the ones leaving Jerusalem to Jericho and left for dead in the ditch of our sins, but Jesus, the Good Samaritan, crossed the road to care for us, entrusted us to the inn of the Church to be nursed back to full health, and promised to repay us on his second coming for all that we have done to care for those he has likewise entrusted to us. Jesus, through his messages to St. Faustina, has reminded us of this reality, how much we have needed and still need his mercy, how he never ceases to give it to us when we come to him in need, and how we’re supposed to share it. The five practices he asked of us through St. Faustina are ways that we’re transformed by him to become Good Samaritans ourselves, first praying for mercy for everyone and drawing close to all types of groups in need of his mercy, and then putting that prayer into action.
  • The greatest means by which the Good Samaritan cares for us and changes us to care loving for our neighbor is here at Mass, as he nourishes us in the inn of the Church with his body, blood, soul and divinity that we offer to the Eternal Father for our sins and those of the whole world. In Jesus we became neighbor to everyone and he strengthens us to become the hands, feet, and heart of the mystical body to go out in search of those wandering from Jerusalem to Jericho whom Jesus wants us to lift out of the ditch and help get back on the road that leads to the Celestial Jerusalem.

The readings for today’s Mass were: 

Reading 1 Jon 1:1–2:1-2, 11

This is the word of the LORD that came to Jonah, son of Amittai:

“Set out for the great city of Nineveh, and preach against it;
their wickedness has come up before me.”
But Jonah made ready to flee to Tarshish away from the LORD.
He went down to Joppa, found a ship going to Tarshish,
paid the fare, and went aboard to journey with them to Tarshish,
away from the LORD.

The LORD, however, hurled a violent wind upon the sea,
and in the furious tempest that arose
the ship was on the point of breaking up.
Then the mariners became frightened and each one cried to his god.
To lighten the ship for themselves, they threw its cargo into the sea.
Meanwhile, Jonah had gone down into the hold of the ship,
and lay there fast asleep.
The captain came to him and said, “What are you doing asleep?
Rise up, call upon your God!
Perhaps God will be mindful of us so that we may not perish.”

Then they said to one another, “Come, let us cast lots
to find out on whose account we have met with this misfortune.”
So they cast lots, and thus singled out Jonah.
“Tell us,” they said, “what is your business?
Where do you come from?
What is your country, and to what people do you belong?”
Jonah answered them, “I am a Hebrew,
I worship the LORD, the God of heaven,
who made the sea and the dry land.”

Now the men were seized with great fear and said to him,
“How could you do such a thing!–
They knew that he was fleeing from the LORD,
because he had told them.–
They asked, “What shall we do with you,
that the sea may quiet down for us?”
For the sea was growing more and more turbulent.
Jonah said to them, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea,
that it may quiet down for you;
since I know it is because of me
that this violent storm has come upon you.”

Still the men rowed hard to regain the land, but they could not,
for the sea grew ever more turbulent.
Then they cried to the LORD: “We beseech you, O LORD,
let us not perish for taking this man’s life;
do not charge us with shedding innocent blood,
for you, LORD, have done as you saw fit.”
Then they took Jonah and threw him into the sea,
and the sea’s raging abated.
Struck with great fear of the LORD,
the men offered sacrifice and made vows to him.

But the LORD sent a large fish, that swallowed Jonah;
and Jonah remained in the belly of the fish
three days and three nights.
From the belly of the fish Jonah prayed
to the LORD, his God.
Then the LORD commanded the fish to spew Jonah upon the shore.

Responsorial Psalm Jonah 2:3, 4, 5, 8

R. You will rescue my life from the pit, O Lord.
Out of my distress I called to the LORD,
and he answered me;
From the midst of the nether world I cried for help,
and you heard my voice.
R. You will rescue my life from the pit, O Lord.
For you cast me into the deep, into the heart of the sea,
and the flood enveloped me;
All your breakers and your billows
passed over me.
R. You will rescue my life from the pit, O Lord.
Then I said, “I am banished from your sight!
yet would I again look upon your holy temple.”
R. You will rescue my life from the pit, O Lord.
When my soul fainted within me,
I remembered the LORD;
My prayer reached you
in your holy temple.
R. You will rescue my life from the pit, O Lord.

Alleluia Jn 13:34

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I give you a new commandment:
love one another as I have loved you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 10:25-37

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.”But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus,
“And who is my neighbor?”
Jesus replied,
“A man fell victim to robbers
as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho.
They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead.
A priest happened to be going down that road,
but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
Likewise a Levite came to the place,
and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him
was moved with compassion at the sight.
He approached the victim,
poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them.
Then he lifted him up on his own animal,
took him to an inn, and cared for him.
The next day he took out two silver coins
and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction,
‘Take care of him.
If you spend more than what I have given you,
I shall repay you on my way back.’
Which of these three, in your opinion,
was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?”
He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.”
Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”