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Homily for the 15th Sunday in ordinary time, year c

DEUT. 30 : 10 -14
COL. 1 : 15-20
LUKE 10 : 25 -37
Beloved in Christ, this morning the Church invites us to reflect  on the core of our Christian calling and how the reflection has an impact on how we live our lives as Christians. For Jesus, the core of the Christian life is found in the Scriptures; so in response to the ‘what must I do’ question( cf Luke 10 :25b), He directed the lawyer back to the Scriptures (Luke 10 :26) and asked what was written there.
Consequently, the lawyer found the response in Deut. 6 :5, which talks about loving God with all your heart and Leviticus 19 : 18 which also deals with loving one’s neighbour. Therefore, it is love of God and love of neighbour that will gain one admittance into heaven. But the lawyer living in a world where a neighbour is defined by class, religion,gender or ethnicity asked Jesus who his neighbour is.
Brethren, Jesus therefore used the occasion to teach the famous Good Samaritan story as a definition to who a neighbour is. Thus for Jesus the Christian understanding of neighbour makes no room for barriers and divisions. This is a call for us to tear down all the walls we have erected between those who belong to us and deserve our help as well as those who do not belong to us and are to be ignored.
Beloved, the story of the Good Samaritan teaches us that for those who refuse to help those in need no excuse will be accepted by Jesus. This then reminds us of Matthew 25 : 37b-40,  Lord , when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? …whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine,you did for me. Hence, the refusal of the Priest and Levite to help the man who has been attacked cannot be justified.
Beloved the desire to help should be determined by the need of the other person and not the class or race of the one in need. We  therefore challenged to look beyond the race, the colour, the religion, and the political affiliation of the one in need of help. For your neighbour is that person you meet who is in need of your help. And it is the helping of this person and the love of God which is our motivation for offering this help that will lead us to the kingdom of heaven.

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