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Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham Reg. Charity No. 234216.
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Writings of the Parish Priest (12)
Writings of the Parish priest (13)
Writings of the Parish priest (14)
Read, reflect and live inspired (15)
Writings of the Parish priest (16)
Writings of the Parish priest (17)
Writings of the Parish Priest (18)
Fr. Jimmy Lutwama AJ
TODAYS GOSPEL REFLECTION
“You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27
These words were spoken by a scholar of the law to Jesus. He was quoting the Old Testament Law of Leviticus and Deuteronomy (Leviticus 19:18, Deuteronomy 6:5, 10:12). Jesus commended him for speaking these words. But then the scholar asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
Jesus responded by telling him the familiar story of the Good Samaritan.
The story of the Good Samaritan is one that should wake us up to some not-so-pleasant truths about love of neighbor, or the lack thereof. First, a priest and a Levite walked by the beaten and suffering man on the side of the road and ignored him, passing on the opposite side of the road. Then the Samaritan walked by, was filled with compassion, and went out of his way to help the man.
The conclusion is obvious. We should be like the Good Samaritan who showed mercy to the man in need. On an intellectual level it is easy to conclude this fact. However, in practice, it is not always the case.
It’s interesting that Jesus used a priest in the story as the first person to walk on the opposite side of the road. One thing this tells us is that too often we seek a so-called “exterior holiness” while, in truth, we lack authentic “interior holiness.” The priest can be seen as a symbol of those who claim to be Christian on the surface but fail to live their holiness in their actions. Without living true love of neighbor, we are frauds and do not live up to our sacred calling.
Reflect, today, upon the difference between exterior and interior holiness. The ideal is that your inner life is so completely consumed by the love of God that it overflows into your exterior actions. If your love of God is not fully alive within the depths of your heart, there is no way that you can, in fact, be truly holy.
Lord, help me to authentically love You with my whole heart, mind, soul and strength. Help me to have such an honest love for You that it also overflows into my love for others. May Your precious gift of holiness permeate my life and enable me to love You and others in a total way. Jesus, I trust in You.
As German king and Holy Roman Emperor, Henry was a practical man of affairs. He was energetic in consolidating his rule. He crushed rebellions and feuds. On all sides he had to deal with drawn-out disputes so as to protect his frontiers. This involved him in a number of battles, especially in the south in Italy; he also helped Pope Benedict VIII quell disturbances in Rome. Always his ultimate purpose was to establish a stable peace in Europe.
According to eleventh-century custom, Henry took advantage of his position and appointed as bishops men loyal to him. In his case, however, he avoided the pitfalls of this practice and actually fostered the reform of ecclesiastical and monastic life. He was canonized in 1146.
All in all, this saint was a man of his times. From our standpoint, he may have been too quick to do battle and too ready to use power to accomplish reforms. But granted such limitations, he shows that holiness is possible in a busy secular life. It is in doing our job that we become saints.
The Butterfly (Struggles)
A man found a cocoon of a butterfly.
One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole.
Until it suddenly stopped making any progress and looked like it was stuck.
So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily, although it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.
The man didn’t think anything of it and sat there waiting for the wings to enlarge to support the butterfly. But that didn’t happen. The butterfly spent the rest of its life unable to fly, crawling around with tiny wings and a swollen body.
Despite the kind heart of the man, he didn’t understand that the restricting cocoon and the struggle needed by the butterfly to get itself through the small opening; were God’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings. To prepare itself for flying once it was out of the cocoon.
Moral of the story:
Our struggles in life develop our strengths. Without struggles, we never grow and never get stronger, so it’s important for us to tackle challenges on our own, and not be relying on help from others.