Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament

Province of Saint Ann

St Ann Crown red

Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament

Province of Saint Ann

St Ann Crown red
Eymard stained glass window

Daily Eucharistic Reflections

March 8, 2024

Today’s Gospel: So much to reflect upon! Pope Francis’ 2020 encyclical Fratelli Tutti: So much to reflect upon!

When I see the word “neighbor” in “love your neighbor as yourself,” I recall how Pope Francis uses that familiar story of the “Good Samaritan” as an image for our meaning-making and reflection – the non-Jew (read “non-Catholic,” non-Christian), who takes care of the wounded and abandoned man on the side of the road. In the Lukan story, Jesus asks us to consider the question, who is your neighbor?

While most, if not all, in the audience would have interpreted the question “Who is my neighbor? “In a very narrow way, there was a broader meaning for Jesus that goes back to ancient Jewish times — as Pope Francis points out — (61: CF. Exodus 22:21, 23:9, Leviticus 19:33-34)

Pope Francis says about this parable, “Love does not care if a brother or a sister in need comes from one place or another” (62). He also reminds us that the Samaritan would have had plans for the day, his own needs, commitments, and desires like any of us. Yet, this good man stops to help this stranger, suspends his plans for the day, and spends his money to help this unfortunate victim.

As we take today’s Gospel to prayer and the celebration of the Mass, let us consider the meaning of the “neighbor” part of Jesus’ words in the context of this encyclical of Pope Francis. Jesus and our Pontiff have a dream: to treat each person we encounter with utmost dignity and respect – no matter what place the person is from. What kind of world or local community would we have if that were the reality?

Let Us Pray:

Lord, Father of our human family, you created all human beings equal in dignity; pour forth into our hearts a fraternal spirit and inspire in us a dream of renewed encounter, dialogue, justice, and peace. Move us to create healthier societies and a world more dignified, a world without hunger, poverty, violence and war. (From Fratelli Tutti)

 

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