I pray everyone had a wonderful 4th of July and is having a relaxing summer! This weekend, we celebrate the 15th week of Ordinary Time and the Church gives us readings revolving around God’s laws. These laws are not meant to be overpowering and cumbersome, rather, they are meant to provide us with a road map to Joy and perfect union with our Father.
The laws we find in the Old Testament in our first reading today from Deuteronomy point towards the laws of God not being distant from us - they aren’t something we should follow just because they are made by someone else. They are laws given to us by God that, when embraced, loved, and understood, shape our souls and give us grateful hearts. The Israelite people, over time, forgot what was at the heart of these laws given by God and just followed them as if the laws were ends in themselves. God’s law is not the end, rather, it is the way to Him. God is always the end for us.
Jesus, in our Gospel today, uses a beautiful parable to show this to us. In the parable of the man who fell victim to robbers and needs help, he is passed by on the road by a priest and Levite - two men who are supposed to be the upholders of the law. These two men are supposed to embrace, love, and understand that law - and to live it out. But they do not. They only follow the law for the laws sake - it is not close to them. It is not near and dear to their hearts. Only a Samaritan helps the man on the side of the road. This parable would have been extremely difficult for a practicing Jewish person to hear at this time period. Samaritans didn’t follow the letter of the Jewish law. They intermarried with conquering nations which was a huge violation of the law. But this Samaritan man knew God’s law in his heart - the law of love thy neighbor.
God’s law is written in our hearts. Very important to us is to embrace, love, and understand this law as it brings us closer to our Father and to have a deeper love for those we meet. May our summer be a time to rest in this Divine Law of God and may we all grow in holiness during this peaceful time.
May the Lord give you His peace,