Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Fr. James Farfaglia

7/15/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

We are going to find Jesus by reaching out and immersing ourselves into the wounded.  Moreover, we are all wounded, because we are all part of a world that has forgotten how to love. 

Highlights

By Fr. James Farfaglia

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/15/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Year of Faith

Keywords: year of faith, father james farfaglia, christianity, love, charity, good samaritan, pope francis, Lumen Fidei, alzheimers, nursing homes, nursing, care for the sick and the dying, Internet, television, Facebook


CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (Catholic Online) - My grandmother spent her last years in a nursing home because she was unable to care for herself.  Alzheimer's completely sapped her joyful vitality and totally changed her personality.

Every time I went home to visit my parents, we would always spend time with my grandmother.  The visits were always very sad.  After my mother briefly reminded her as to whom we were, my grandmother would be delighted by our visits.  The sadness was caused by what the illness had done to my grandmother.

The nurses at the nursing home were extraordinary women.  In their own simple way, they would take care of every tiny detail of the patients.  There were many other patients that were in worse shape than my grandmother.  I often wondered how the nurses could be so cheerful and so loving in such a difficult environment.

One day, during one of our family visits, the nurse that always took care of my grandmother, told me that she could not wait to retire so that she could come back every day to the nursing home and spend her entire day with the patients at no charge to the home.  She was so excited about the possibility of generously giving of herself without any restrictions.

This Sunday's liturgy provides us with another wonderful opportunity to deepen our love for God and our neighbor.
 
In my opinion, the parable of the Good Samaritan and the parable of the Prodigal Son are Jesus' greatest teachings and clearly they are among the most beautiful passages of Sacred Scripture.  

During the past few weeks, the Catholic liturgy has been presenting to us teachings on the essence of Christianity.

Without a doubt, the parable of the Good Samaritan is a vital gospel narrative for our reflection.

This Sunday's parable teaches us how we are to love.  The parable leaves no room for doubt.  Anyone who is in need must be taken care of with profound magnanimity. 

The magnanimous care that the Samaritan gives to the unfortunate man provides a model of how we are to care for all those who are in need.   Christianity and egotism are diametrically opposed to each other.   

Every one of the Samaritan's actions is an act of profound magnanimity.
The Samaritan is moved with compassion as he comes upon the man who has fallen into the hands of robbers.  This movement of the heart is characteristic of the love that Jesus has for all humanity.   It is precisely this movement of the heart that causes the Good Samaritan to do such loving acts of service and kindness.  This movement of the heart causes him to come out of himself and give himself entirely to the needs of the man that he finds on the side of the road. 

"But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion, and went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.  And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the inn-keeper, saying, 'Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back'" (Luke 10: 33-35).

The acts of the Good Samaritan go beyond generosity.  His magnanimity shows that there are no limits to his kindness and service. 

The parable of the Good Samaritan demands that we live our lives in the same way.  We cannot ignore the needs of anyone.  Only those who are magnanimous servants of their neighbor are truly happy people. 

There are two major obstacles to living out true gospel charity: our ego and our moods.  We need to be selfless and we need to get our moods under control.  Too many people in our contemporary society only live for themselves and too many people live from one mood swing to another. 

A healthy family life is the best way to develop the virtue of charity.   Interaction among family members takes place most frequently at the dining room table.  Families need to have dinner together every night.  Excessive involvement in sports and after school activities robs a family of the intimate social life that helps to keep families alive. 

Aside from excessive activities, too much television viewing causes family members to isolate themselves into their own little shells.  This is particularly true when parents allow children to have their own television set in their bedrooms. 

Another aspect of strong family life is a healthy social life.  Too many people live isolated lives.  Too many people are incapable of true friendship.  Christian charity is impossible if we do not even understand what it means to be a friend to someone. 

The excessive use of Facebook draws millions of people into a narcissistic fantasy world.  People are starving for real friendship and for real love. 

So many people of our contemporary society are like the man, of this Sunday's gospel narrative, "that fell victim to robbers."  "They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half -dead" (Luke 10: 30). 

Broken and dysfunctional families have left millions of people abandoned, lonely and feeling unloved. 

Wouldn't it be better to turn off the television, the computer and Facebook and just go over and knock on your neighbor's door, go for a walk with your spouse, or spend time with your children?

Yet, most people, when they come home from work, lock themselves up into an isolated island of narcissism, feeding themselves with hours of mindless television and Internet, while millions of people starve for love and affection.  

"Once man has lost the fundamental orientation which unifies his existence, he breaks down into the multiplicity of his desires; in refusing to await the time of promise, his life-story disintegrates into a myriad of unconnected instants.  Idolatry, then, is always polytheism, an aimless passing from one lord to another.  Idolatry does not offer a journey but rather a plethora of paths leading nowhere and forming a vast labyrinth.  Those who choose not to put their trust in God must hear the din of countless idols crying out 'Put your trust in me!'

Faith, tied as it is to conversion, is the opposite of idolatry; it breaks with idols to turn to the living God in personal encounter.  Believing means entrusting oneself to a merciful love which always accepts and pardons, which sustains and directs our lives, and which shows its power by its ability to make straight the crooked line of our history.  Faith consists in the willingness to let ourselves be constantly transformed and renewed by God's call.  Herein lies the paradox: by constantly turning towards the Lord, we discover a sure path which liberates us from the dissolution imposed upon us by idols" (Pope Francis, Lumen Fidei, 13). 

We need to be like the Good Samaritan. 

We are going to find Jesus by reaching out and immersing ourselves into the wounded.  Moreover, we are all wounded, because we are all part of a world that has forgotten how to love. 

"But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion, and went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.  And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the inn-keeper, saying, 'Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back'" (Luke 10: 33-35).

Visit Fr. James Farfaglia on the web at www.fatherjames.org and listen to the audio podcast of this Sunday homily.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2014
Christmas, hope for humanity:
That the birth of the Redeemer may bring peace and hope to all people of good will.
Parents: That parents may be true evangelizers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith.



Comments


More Year of Faith

The Wedding Invitation of Jesus: We are Called to Live the Nuptial Mystery Watch

Image of There will be no giving or taking in marriage in the kingdom to come because the very purpose and meaning of marriage itself will be fulfilled. (See, e.g. Mk. 12:18-27) We will be living in the fullness of the Communion of Love with the Trinity. The symbol will give way to the eternal reality, the Sacrament will be fulfilled in the fullness of communion. All of human love will be completed in the Love which lasts forever.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

It is not accidental that the Bible, from beginning to the end, uses marriage as a metaphor and a symbol to reveal the plan of God for the whole human race.  Marriage was God's plan from the beginning as we see in the first book of Genesis. Throughout the Old ... continue reading


The Sower. The Seed. The Field. Understanding the Christian Mission Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

"A sower went out to sow. And, as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for ... continue reading


Reflection on the Catholic Catechism: Understanding the Bible Watch

Image of

By Michael Terheyden

How we interpret the Bible is of immense importance! It directly affects what we believe about Christ, the Church, and our faith, but it is also related to many of the grave problems in our society and the world. Yet, despite the gravity of this situation, we have good ... continue reading


Christ the King, the Year of Faith and the Catholic Counterculture Watch

Image of On this Solemnity of the Feast of Christ the King, the Year of Faith inaugurated by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI comes to a ceremonial end. However, in reality, it cannot and will not end, because Jesus Christ is King! The Year of Faith was only the beginning for those who choose to live the Life of Faith.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

We celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. It is one of many opportunities the Catholic Church year offers to each one of us to consider the creature called time, receive it as a gift, and begin to really live our lives differently.  This is one of ... continue reading


The Bones of Peter, the Successor of Peter: Close of the Year of Faith Watch

Image of The bones of St. Peter the Apostle

By Deacon Keith Fournier

On the Solemnity of the Feast of Christ the King, the Sunday which marks both the end of the Church Year and the end of the Year of Faith, inaugurated by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Pope Francis greeted thousands of the faithful and presided over Holy Mass and the ... continue reading


Fr Randy Sly on Becoming a House of Prayer Watch

Image of Jesus drives the money changers from the temple. 

With hearts clear and focused on our Lord, we can follow the advice of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Everything starts with prayer. Love to pray--feel the need to pray often during the day and take the trouble to pray. If you want to pray better, you must pray more. The more you pray, the easier it becomes. Perfect prayer does not consist of many words but in the fervor of the desire which raises the heart to Jesus. (Fr. Randy Sly)

By Father Randy Sly

Becoming a House of Prayer is the best discipline we can take on. St. Ephraem of Syria states that Virtues are formed by prayer. Prayer preserves temperance. Prayer suppresses anger. Prayer prevents emotions of pride and envy. Prayer draws into the soul the Holy ... continue reading


Jesus Weeps and Offers the Path to Peace Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

If this day you only knew what makes for peace- but now it is hidden from your eyes. For the days are coming upon you when your enemies will raise a palisade against you; they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides. They will smash you to the ground and your ... continue reading


The Kingdom of God is Among You. What Did Jesus Mean? Watch

Image of The Christian vocation is, of its nature, a vocation to the apostolate as well. Indeed, we call an apostolate every activity of the Mystical Body that aims to spread the Kingdom of Christ over all the earth. (CCC#863)

By Deacon Keith Fournier

In Jesus Christ, the Kingdom has been inaugurated. Upon his return it will be made complete and fully manifested in a new heaven and a new earth. We are members of the Body of Christ which makes it present here and now - as seed and sign for a world which is in labor. ... continue reading


Year of Faith: Bringing the Feast of the Presentation of Mary to Life Watch

Image of The Feast of the Presentation of Mary is celebrated in both the Eastern and Western Churches. It recalls the day in the life of the Jewish girl named Mary (Maryam) when her parents, Joachim and Anne, presented her to the Lord in the temple and dedicated her life to Him.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

On this Feast of the Presentation of Mary, let us make the choice to surrender ourselves to the same Lord who Joachim and Ann honored when they presented their dear daughter in the temple. Their daughter, Mary, became the Second Eve. The New Creation was born through ... continue reading


WEDNESDAY HOMILY: Our Lady's Encouragement Watch

Image of

By Fr Samuel Medley, SOLT

I got off the subway at Termini station and went up to the busy streets of Rome.  I had to walk past the place where all the prostitutes gathered.  I looked down at the street and began to pray in fear.  Suddenly I heard a feminine voice say, "Be a man!" ... continue reading


All Year of Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Second Samuel 7:1-5, 8-11, 16
1 Once the king had settled into his palace and ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 89:2-3, 4-5, 27, 29
2 for you have said: love is built to last for ever, ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 1:26-38
26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by ... Read More

Reading 2, Romans 16:25-27
25 And now to him who can make you strong in ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 21st, 2014 Image

St. Peter Canisius
December 21: In 1565, the Vatican was looking for a secret agent. It was ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter