LECTIO DIVINA: XV Sunday. Cycle C
Translated by Fray Emilio Larlar, Jr., OAR
A. Invocation to the Holy
Let us invoke the Holy Spirit with the words of St. Augustine.
Come Holy Spirit, by whom every pious soul who believes in Christ in order to make himself a citizen of the City of God is made holy! (En. in Ps. 45, 8). Come Holy Spirit, grant that we may receive the promptings of God, place in us Your fire, illumine us and raise us up to God (Sermon 128, 4).
With a willing heart, and with sincerity, read slowly the following words, savoring them and allowing them to have an impact on you:
There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test Him and said, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read it?” He said in reply, “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 your-self.” He replied to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.” But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man fell victim to robbers as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead. A priest happened to be going down that road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. Likewise a Levite came to the place, and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight. He approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them. Then he lifted him up on his own animal, took him to an inn and cared for him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper with the instructtion, ‘Take care of him. If you spend more than what I have given you, I shall repay you on my way back.’ Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?” He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
Let us meditate now with the commentary of St. Augustine on these words of the Gospel of St. Luke:
Always remember this; do not love the going down and despise the going up; think always about the going up, because the one who goes down from Jerusalem to Jericho fell in the hands of the robbers. If he had not gone down, he would not have fallen in the hands of the robbers. Adam descended, and he fell in the hands of the robbers, All of us are Adam. The priest passed by, and he ignored him; the Levite passed by, he was not concerned, because the law could not cure him. A certain Samaritan passed, that is, our Lord, Jesus Christ, because it was said to Him: Don’t we say rightly that You are a Samaritan and you have the demon? He did not answer: “I am not a Samaritan”, but: “I don’t have the devil. “Samaritan” means “Guardian”. If He had said: “I am not a Samaritan”. He would affirm that He was not a Guardian. “Who else would be our Guard?. Then, citing the example, he says, as you know: A Samaritan passed and had pity on him. He lay wounded on the road, because he came down. When the Samaritan passed He did not abandon us; He healed us, and He placed us on His donkey, on His flesh; He brought us to an inn, that is, to His Church, and entrusted us to the innkeeper, that is, to the Apostle, and He handed him two denarii to heal us, that is, the love of God and of the love of neighbor, since the entire Law and the Prophets are summed up these two commandments; and He said to the innkeeper: If you will spend more, I will give it to you when I return. The Apostle spent more, since, having allowed all the Apostles to receive, as soldiers of Christ, the nourishment from the followers of Christ, however, he worked with his own hands on the part of the follower of Christ, however, he worked with his own hands and condoned the followers their provisions. All this happened. If we have gone down and we are wounded, let us go up, let us sing and let us advance in order to arrive. (En. in Ps. 125, 15).
Let us pray now from the bottom of our heart with the text. I suggest to you the following phrases and questions that may arouse in you the dialogue with God, and, at the same time, may elicit affections and sentiments in your dialogue with God. Do not pass to the other phrase or question if you can still continue dialoging with God in some of them. It is not a matter of finishing this list, but of helping you to pray with those points that are most applicable to your personal experience:
a.- ‘But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight” (Lk. 10:33).
- What is your attitude in the face of the sufferings and needs of those who surround you?
- St. Augustine says that Christ is our Samaritan, because Samaritan means guardian. How is trust in Christ, our Guardian, our “Good Divine Samaritan”?
b.- “The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction, ‘Take care of him. If you spend more than what I have given you, I shall repay you on my way back”. (Lk. 10:35).
- St. Augustine interprets the two denarii as the two commandments of love, for God and for neighbor . How do you live these two commandments?
- How do you concretely show your love and compassion towards your brothers?
I propose to you some points of affective inner contemplation. Once again, there is no need that you follow everything, but that you choose what is more applicable to your personal experience:
a.- Contemplate the Parable of the “Good Samaritan” and try to identify your-self with the man who fell in the hands of the robbers. Consider Christ in the Good Samaritan, reflect on His love and mercy.
b.- Contemplate how Christ heals the wounds of your heart as Good Samaritan. Ponder likewise how Christ entrusts to you the duty of being another “Good Samaritan”, by making you sharer in His merciful love.
Think about everything that you can share with those who surround you of the experience that you have had of God, particularly with regard to being sent by Christ, with the commitment of conversion and of being bearer of peace. The following points can help you as a guide in sharing with your community the experience of the lectio divina on this text:
- What have I discovered about God and about myself during this moment of prayer?
- How can I, in these moments of my life, apply this text of the Scriptures? What lights does it offer me? What challenges does it present to me?
- To what does this text of the Scripture concretely commit me in my spiritual life, in my community life?
- What has been my predominant feeling in this moment of prayer?
G. Final Prayer of St. Augustine
“Indeed, Samaritan is translated guardian (…) Therefore, the one who is our Creator is our Guardian” (Io. Ev. Tr. 43, 2).