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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

October 11th: St. Soledad Torres Acosta, religious

Gospel text (Lk 10,25-37): A teacher of the Law came and began putting Jesus to the test. And he said, «Master, what shall I do to receive eternal life?». Jesus replied, «What is written in the Scripture? How do you understand it?». The man answered, «It is written: ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and with all your mind. And you shall love your neighbor as yourself’». Jesus replied, «What a good answer! Do this and you shall live».

The man wanted to keep up appearances, so he replied, «Who is my neighbor?». Jesus then said, «There was a man going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him, beat him and went off leaving him half-dead. It happened that a priest was going along that road and saw the man, but passed by on the other side. Like-wise a Levite saw the man and passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, too, was going that way, and when he came upon the man, he was moved with compassion. He went over to him and treated his wounds with oil and wine and wrapped them with bandages. Then he put him on his own mount and brought him to an inn where he took care of him. The next day he had to set off, but he gave two silver coins to the innkeeper and told him: ‘Take care of him and whatever you spend on him, I will repay when I come back’».

Jesus then asked, «Which of these three, do you think, made himself neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?». The teacher of the Law answered, «The one who had mercy on him». And Jesus said, «Go then and do the same».

«A Samaritan, too, was going that way, and when he came upon the man, he was moved with compassion»

Fr. Miguel BONET Nicolau (Barcelona, Spain)

Today, we celebrate the "dies natalis" of St. Maria Soledad Torres y Acosta (1826-1887), her birth to eternal life. «Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful» (Lk 6:36): we must have a sensitive regard of mercy towards the weak who suffers. «I needed clothes (...), I was sick and you looked after me» (Mt 25:36): we Christians cannot forget that what we do to our brother we are doing it to the Son of God.

Mother Soledad had this perception to serve the sick in his own home, in his own environment. This was her charisma, the grace of the Spirit that obliged her and which the Servants of Mary maintain.

Pope Francis insists on the need to go to the existential peripheries, where human beings suffer moral and physically, to boost them from the prostration, in the style of Christ, who came here, searching what was lost. Mother Soledad and the Servants of Mary know how to see in the sick, the sufferings of Christ in His members, as the Apostle Paul would say.

In his exhortation "A Samaritan church", Cardinal Martínez Sistach, Archbishop of Barcelona, said that as believers in the style of Christ, we have to be closer to the wounded man, unafraid of any “ritual or legal pollution"; what matters is the dignity of the human being. «I was sick and I you visited me (...) »: this key principle stirred mother Soledad. And the Church proposes it as an example to emulate, while knowing that we are following the footsteps of Christ, the Good Samaritan.

When the Church does not serve the injured man, mistreated by life, it fails to follow the steps of Christ. The Church that is not at the service of mankind has not understood the message that Christ repeats to us time and again: «the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life» (Mt 20:28). So we, as Mother Soledad did, should spend our life together with the wounded and sick man for his salvation, while knowing that by doing this we serve the very Son of God.