Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tuesday of the Twenty-sixth Week in Ordinary Time

(Job 3:1-3.11-17.20-23; Luke 9:51-6)

Lest the parable of the “Good Samaritan” make us think that Samaritans incarnate virtue, today’s gospel notes Samaritan intolerance. For practical purposes Jesus is denied hospitality in a Samaritan village simply because he is a Jew. We may conclude that prejudice is a human defect that is seen when a majority people feels threatened by a minority. It seems that this phenomenon is showing itself among Americans today with the influx of Latin immigrants.

Where the disciples are ready to respond quite aggressively to Samaritan hostility, Jesus shows restraint. As a matter of fact, he shows disfavor with the disciples for their impulsiveness and not with the Samaritans for their lack of neighborliness.

At one point in this same Gospel According to Luke, Jesus says that he did not come to bring peace. But that is a very relative statement. He is not here to abet the peace of self-satisfaction and indifference. Rather, he means to assist his followers conquer their prejudices and agressiveness, even when victory means setting them apart from family and friends. The end result, however, is a purer love for everyone – friend, foe, and especially God.