|Newsletter - July 2013|
We are happy to share with everyone the wonderful experience of The Catholic Women of Zion, an outreach ministry, of our Diocese. They had a half –day retreat in our parish yesterday. It is always great to see other parishioners from some neighboring parishes who are involved in their ministry as they spread the Good News of Jesus.
On Monday, July 15, as we check on our parish web site, the Filipino Priests of the Diocese of Trenton are coming to the parish. We are happy to welcome and host the gathering of our Man of the Cloth as they are going to have the Holy Hour, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and prayers in the Church. Lunch is served after the prayers and the formal meeting follows.
This Sunday we celebrate the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time and our focus is: If we do not love God before, beyond and above all things, we cannot love ourselves or our neighbors.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus and a scholar of the law debate about the greatest commandments in the law. They are in agreement that we should love the Lord our God with all our heart, being, strength and mind and that we should love our neighbor as ourselves. And who is my neighbor? Asks the scholar, thus introducing the Parable of the Good Samaritan, a story we have heard for so many times. The word neighbor is rooted in the Old English words “near” (neah) and “a dweller” (gebur). A neighbor, then, is one who dwells near. A certain individual can live in what was called a row home; all the houses on their street were attached. Neighbors were those who literally lived next door.
Today’s Gospel readings take the definition of a neighbor beyond physical nearness. When the lawyer asks Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” he was asking about the requirement of the law that commanded that one love one’s neighbor as oneself.
Jesus’ answer went to the heart of the issue. To be a neighbor was to reach out to help anyone in need, setting aside any barriers that either society or selfishness might set up. To be a neighbor was to open one’s heart to another, recognizing in the other the image of the God who created them. To be a neighbor was to treat another with mercy.
O God, who placed your law in our hearts, help us to remember your nearness to us in the depths of our being, and to allow your Son’s law of love to guide what we see, say, and do. May we increase our openness to your Spirit and how your Spirit guides us. Amen.
May God bless us all,
Reprinted with permission from St. Catherine of Siena Church's July 14, 2013 Bulletin