10/11 Sunday Mass video & homily -- now available
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HOMILY FOR 10/11/2020: 28TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
MSGR. PAUL ENKE
Even as we gather today to celebrate this Eucharist, I don't think there's anybody that can doubt that our land is involved in a lot of chaos and mayhem these days. It was in the midst of that that I turned to the encyclical letter
. It was given in Assisi at the tomb of Saint Francis on the 3rd of October, the vigil of the feast of the saint in the year 2020, the eighth year of Francis’s pontificate. It's a remarkable document and treats fraternity and social friendship in the widest description of those two human endeavors, for individuals and for the whole world.
He begins by recalling the visit of Francis to the Sultan Malik-el-Kamil of Egypt some 800 years ago. While there, in the midst of Europe's chaos and Saracen enemies, he tells his friars not to engage in arguments or dispute, but to be subject to every human creature for God's sake. No hostility or conflict was to be engaged in with those who did not share their faith, which was a remarkable statement for his day and age.
Then Pope Francis turns to the familiar story of the Good Samaritan, and he has this to say—and I will quote him:
Jesus tells the story of a man assaulted by thieves and lying injured on the wayside. Several persons passed him by, but failed to stop. These were people holding important social positions, yet lacking in real concern for the common good. They would not waste a couple of minutes caring for the injured man, or even in calling for help. Only one person stopped, approached the man and cared for him personally, even spending his own money to provide for his needs. He also gave him something that in our frenetic world we cling to tightly: he gave him his time. Certainly, he had his own plans for that day, his own needs, commitments and desires. Yet he was able to put all that aside when confronted with someone in need. Without even knowing the injured man, he saw him as deserving of his time and attention. 
The parable eloquently presents the basic decision we need to make in order to rebuild our wounded world. In the face of so much pain and suffering, our only course is to imitate the Good Samaritan. Any other decision would make us either one of the robbers or one of those who walked by without showing compassion for the sufferings of the man on the roadside. 
And remember that man on the roadside:
The people walking by him did not heed their interior summons to act as neighbors; they were concerned with their duties, their social status, their professional position within society. They considered themselves important for the society of the time, and were anxious to play their proper part. The man on the roadside, bruised and abandoned, was a distraction, an interruption from all that; in any event, he was hardly important. He was a “nobody”, undistinguished, irrelevant to their plans for the future. The Good Samaritan transcended these narrow classifications. 
I want to speak now of a situation that I found myself involved in that relates to that from a couple weeks back. Two weeks ago, I was trimming back a small bush next to my front porch. I leaned off the steps of the porch, and soon I found myself down on the ground in the ground cover next to the bush. Since I'd had both of my knees replaced, it was too painful for me to get up on those knees on the bricks. I tried and tried, but I could not make it up. I finally realized I had to swallow my pride and call out for help, and soon a young man heard me. He crossed the street from his run and got me onto the steps and then onto my feet. His name was Will. He was a recent grad of Granville High School and the son, he told me, of a minister who lived nearby. I was so grateful to him and then he left me and resumed his run.
I later contacted Niki Brown of our parish, and together we pieced together who this young man was because I wanted to write him a note to thank him and then put some money in the note as a sign of my gratitude. I wrote, “You were my Good Samaritan who picked me up off the side of the road and how I would always remember his kindness to me.” I received a thank-you note, then, saying though not necessary, my gift to him would be put into his college fund. I was glad for that. He signed his note, “Your friend, Will.”
I'm sure Will had not read Pope Francis's encyclical, but he instinctively became the Good Samaritan to me. And I pray that the leaders of our world—those of faith or no faith—will take the time to read what Pope Francis had to say to us in his encyclical, and may our politicians do that as well. And I'm sure it will be out one day soon in book form. So I'd say this: let ourselves, then, be those Good Samaritans to each other.
And I'll conclude with the Holy Father's closing prayer [from
O God, Trinity of love,
from the profound communion of your divine life,
pour out upon us a torrent of fraternal love.
Grant us the love reflected in the actions of Jesus,
in his family of Nazareth,
and in the early Christian community.
Grant that we Christians may live the Gospel,
discovering Christ in each human being,
recognizing him crucified
in the sufferings of the abandoned
and forgotten of our world,
and risen in each brother or sister
who makes a new start.
Come, Holy Spirit, show us your beauty,
reflected in all the peoples of the earth,
so that we may discover anew
that all are important and all are necessary,
different faces of the one humanity
that God so loves. Amen.
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The complete text of
on the Vatican website
on Saturday, October 10 at 2:45PM