A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Monday, October 09, 2006

A Gospel other than...

The two readings for weekday Masses during Ordinary Time are not generally chosen to link up with each other, so they can sometimes intersect in interesting ways.

In today's first reading (Galatians 1:6-12), St. Paul warns the Galatians against "a different Gospel" - in quite dramatic language.

But even if we
or an angel from heaven
should preach to you a gospel
other than the one that we preached to you,
let that one be accursed!

As we have said before,
and now I say again,
if anyone preaches to you a gospel
other than the one that you received,
let that one be accursed!

But then, in today's Gospel (Luke 10:25-37), our Lord himself depicts a follower of a somewhat different religion (a Samaritan) as an example of godly virtue.

It is a reminder that although we must hold fast to the truth that we have received, we can learn from others (as long as there is no contradiction with the truth we have received).

This is especially the case when the actions of others so perfectly exemplify what we believe, even when not everything they believe is fully correct, as in the case of the Samaritan.

Last week the world was amazed by the forgiveness shown by the Amish families of murdered schoolgirls toward the family of their killer. It was a powerful and explicit imitation of Christ.

Perhaps even more so were the words of one of the murdered girls, 13-year-old Marian Fisher, who is quoted as saying to the gunman, "Shoot me and leave the other ones loose."

Jesus answered,
"I told you that I am he;
so, if you seek me,
let these men go."
(John 18:8)

It is safe to say that none of us in this online environment are Amish, and yet in these instances most of us have much to learn.

These actions which have astounded the world challenge us to manifest our faith to that same level: even to the point of forgiving what seems unforgivable or giving one's life for one's friends.

In this pluralistic world, may we rise to the challenges of fidelity to the true Gospel we have received and of manifesting that true Gospel with the intensity we may witness in others.