Freedom to Love
- Reading I: Galatians 1:6-12
- Resp. Psalm: Psalm 111:1-2,9-10
- Gospel Reading: Luke 10:25-37
When I was still in high school, I first heard this passage from Paul used by a proselytizer to argue that Catholics have been misled in their faith by priests who preach a non-biblical Christ. The argument would be plausible if not for the fact that Paul
- is not speaking of a written gospel (the first gospel will be completed around 70 AD or thereafter by Mark)
- his intent is not to proselytize a new faith nor recruit new members for his church (since he is speaking to people whom he has evangelized but who have embraced a gospel announced by Jewish Christians who think that a Gentile has to became a Jew first before becoming a Christian )
- his purpose is to uphold the gospel that with acknowledgment from the three pillars of the Church then — Peter, James and John — he was given the mandate to preach (thus, he was not drawing Christians away from communion from the apostles)
The passage for this day’s reading is taken from the section of the letter to the Galatians where Paul defends his ministry and the gospel he proclaims. I have written an article about this part of the letter here.
The Letter to the Galatians is Paul’s letter about Christian freedom. It is a freedom that Christians receive because of Christ’s love, that same love which is demanded in the parable of the Good Samaritan.
In Luke’s version of the question about the Greatest Commandment, we find the evangelist departing from the versions of Mark and Matthew. He rewrites the dialogue of the lawyer and Jesus in such a way that it is the lawyer who answers the question he proposes. Luke highlights the fact that the lawyer wishes to justify himself — a throwback from the original version in Mark where the question was asked in attack mode (i.e., to entrap Jesus). The reply of Jesus leads to the parable of the Good Samaritan. Thus, Luke is able to highlight the command which both Mark and Matthew emphasize — love of neighbor — in the specific form of a gesture of compassion.
- Read about the day’s Gospel reading here: Compassion and Eternal Life
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