Fifteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle C

Our readings for Sunday are here

These are the poems, my notes, and interpretations of Fr Dennis’ homilies from the

  • July 10, 2016 5PM Mass
  • July 14, 2013


The poems Fr Dennis references in these years are:

  • 2016 homily — Still, I Give Thanks by Marie Reynolds
  • 2013 homily — an uncaptured Dorothy Day quote

In 2016, we reflected on such wonderful readings and good insights.  Thanks, D2!  🙂 —

  • In the first reading,
    • Moses is letting the people know that these are not obscure sets of law; they are close and within in us and in our hearts.  The early lines (Dt 30:10) state the law as the Will of God, and the remainder (Dt 30:11-14) capture the mystical, personal relationship with God.
    • rl is reminded of Jeremiah’s prophecy from God in J 31:33, that the Love of God will be written in our hearts and Saint Gregory of Nazianzus’ Oration 14 Love of the Poor (~370 C.E., in which he exhorts that we are made in the image of God (Imago Dei) when we love human beings, preferentially the poor.
    • All this returns to D2’s point:  We know what to do, God has placed it there inside us.  It’s the doing that is before us.
  • In the second reading of Colossians
    • It reads almost like a hymn to Jesus.  He is both the inspiration for the Creation, and he sums it all up.
    • But the apostles and disciples know him as a human being — the humanity behind the divinity of which this “hymn” sings.
    • So few words are used compared to the impact of them.
  • In the gospel of Luke,
    • How we interpret the parable of the Good Samaritan now has grown from its early interpretations, instead
      • Jesus = Good Samaritan
      • Adam = wounded/sick man, victim of the devil himself
    • In this understanding, then, the priest (law) and the Levite (prophets) pass by because only Jesus is compassion AND human’s death and resurrection.
    • In the parable, wine and oil are used to heal the wounded traveler, like Jesus comes to us in the wine and oil of the sacraments.
    • It all hinges on Mercy, “neighbor” is the one who shows Mercy.  We receive it and give it because we have been saved.  We do so (we mercify, or however you make “mercy” a verb!) out of gratitude, but also only because of having received the grace of Mercy from God.
    • In the text, the scholar of the law correctly captures that we need both love of God one-on-one and love in community (that’s why we pray the “Our Father,” not the “my Father”).
    • The parable makes one thing clear about God’s Mercy, the mercy that we are to live and are graced with:  exclude no one.
  • The poem by Marie Reynolds is
    • set in the context of her cancer treatments,
    • focuses on joy as the insatiable appetite for life and gratitude (“Thanks for my feet, my fingers, …”), hopes (“I want to see my mother again,” “I want my doctor to use the word ‘cure’ just once”), for others (“for the hands that position me, their measurements and marking pens”)
    • Early in the poem she gives “thanks for the scrub jay’s audacious cries …” and at the end she “close[s] my eyes and think[s] of the jay.”
  • Fr Dennis found
    • Jesus (“J” “jay”) in the lines “We wear the same raiment: blood, bone, muscle.”  This is akin to how Jesus shares our blood, bone, and muscle.
    • And this invisible bird — “invisible feathers, invisible wings” that give “a quickening, felt deep within the body, vigorous and fleeting” offer how in our soul, the sense of hope, wanting to live is the Spirit abiding in us.
  • Fr Eric Sundrup, SJ in the 10AM Mass gets a cameo with one of his insights from the parable that walking to help is (often) walking into danger, and we are to “go and do likewise.” <gulp>  However, when we do so out of the gratitude for the gifts we’ve received and the grace of mercy, we are made “safe” from the inside by the Eucharist.  In other words, we can be in consolation that we are in the right place at the right time, regardless of earthly outcome.

In 2013, we reflected on —

  • The readings offer the wonderful tension between God’s Will, as manifested in the law, and the mystical personal relationship, as manifested in the person of Jesus Christ.
  • Fr Dennis offered a Dorothy Day poem/note/quote indicating how grateful she was to know Jesus in prayer and in the poor.  Please take it as the art of Fr Dennis’ homilies that this was seamless in oration, and now clunky being resurrected in my deficient notes!  But Dorothy Day attended daily mass and had her own repeated presences in prayer with Jesus throughout the day.  The point being the same as made in the first reading — God and God’s Will, Love, and Mercy are not “out there,” they are in “here” (she wrote gesturing to her heart).
  • He then suggested Ignatian contemplation of the Good Samaritan parable, becoming alive in the scene and invoking your senses to see what God might have stand out for you at this time and place in your life.  (rl thinks that’s one of the great beauties of Ignatian contemplation:  God can reach you through scripture and connect it with your daily life, but do so uniquely across the experiences and days of your life without changing the words of the scripture passage you read.)

I chose a simple image of the Good Samaritan parable by James Tissot.  Most of his originals are tiny!  But the detail and sense of richness is large. He only used settings and human models of the region of scripture.

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