Monday, January 30, 2012

Scripture Luke 10:29-37
[29] But he (a lawyer), desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"

[30] Jesus replied, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
[31] Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him he passed by on the other side.
[32] So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.
[33] But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion,
[34] and went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
[35] And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, `Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.'
[36] Which of these three, do you think, proved neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?"
[37] He said, "The one who showed mercy on him." And Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."

15th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Luke 10:25-37

The Parable of the Good Samaritan contains the narrative of salvation history, beginning with the Fall of Adam and continuing through the founding of the Church even until the Second Coming of our Saviour and the Day of Judgment.

The following interpretation is based on the Catena Aurea of St. Thomas Aquinas (Luke 10:29-35).

Jesus replied, "A man fell victim to robbers as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho.

A man, this refers to Adam (the name means man). Fell victim to robbers, this is the fall of Adam, which was hastened by the temptation of the evil one. Likewise, all who have sinned since Adam, fall to the temptation of Satan and his wicked angels who are robbers. Adam is said to have fallen as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, for Jerusalem is a symbol of paradise, Jericho a symbol of the fallen world. Jerusalem is a sign of sinless-ness and immortality, Jericho signifies mortality and death. Adam first turned away from God, thus he was unable to resist the temptations of the evil one.

They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead.

Adam is said to be left half-dead, for our nature was not entirely corrupted by sin, but was left in such a state as to be unable to raise itself to justification before God. Thus, fallen man is not yet dead, but is 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.

The Priest and the Levite represent the Law and the Prophets. These came before Christ and were unable to bring salvation. However, they did make man to yearn for a savior, manifesting our sinfulness (for the Law makes man aware of sin), yet unable to heal our wounds. Thus they passed by on the opposite side; for the Old Covenant did not bring man salvation.

But a Samaritan traveller who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight. He approached the victim,

Notice that the Priest and Levite happened to come upon Adam, they do not proceed to him with intent. The Samaritan, however, came upon him, indicating that he voluntarily approached the victim.

poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them.

The Samaritan, that is Christ, brings that healing which the Priest and Levite could not effect. For the forgiveness of sins comes only from the New Law. Christ poured oil and wine over his wounds, this signifies both softness of mercy (the oil) and sharpness of constraint (the wine). Or oil and wine signify Christ’s union with our humanity (the oil) and his union with the divinity (the wine).

Then he lifted him up on his own animal,

The animal signifies the humanity of Christ, which was an instrument of his divinity. It is by the humanity of Christ that we find salvation.

took him to an inn, and cared for him.

The inn signifies the Church, for none are saved outside the Church of Christ.

The next day

He speaks of the next day referring to his Resurrection, the “day that the Lord hath made.” Christ must make provision for redeemed man, since he was to depart from us and ascend to his Father.

he took out two silver coins

The two silver coins signify the love of God and love of neighbor. Or they signify baptism and the Eucharist.

and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction,

The innkeeper signifies the apostles and their successors.

'Take care of him. If you spend more than what I have given you, I shall repay you on my way back.'

One is said to spend more when he works tirelessly for the faith, even spending his own life in the service of the Gospel. To such a one, Christ will indeed give the reward of eternal life. On my way back, here Christ foretells his Second Coming and the Day of Judgement


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