15th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Call to worship

The image of Jesus is within our hearts. Jesus, who loves all people generously. Jesus, who opens his heart with compassion and love. We are called to be like him — Good Samaritans who lay down our lives in compassion and service to all who are in need.

  • To the point: What is written in the law?” Jesus asks the “scholar of the law.” Many would tend to answer by citing the Ten Commandments or civil law. But the lawyer in the Gospel answered correctly when he named love as the law. Law is not about keeping rules, but about loving others. Eternal life is not inherited by keeping laws, but by caring for others and treating them with mercy. The law of love teaches us that Love is nothing less than the unconditional gift of self.
  • Connecting the Gospel (Luke 10:25-37) to the first reading: The law is not “mysterious and remote,” but is “already in (our) mouths and in (our) hearts.”  (We) have only to carry it out” and, as the Gospel reminds us, it bears the human face of our neighbor in need.
  • Connecting the Gospel to experience: As a framework to guide human behavior, law is good and necessary. When rearing children, we teach them to go beyond mere observance of laws’ external demands to grasping the laws’ deeper intent: building a community of care, respect, mercy — love.

Centering prayers

The Gospel

(Luke 10: 25-37)

He said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

Lord, I love you. Expand my heart;
Let me love my neighbors.
Make us brave enough to cleanse wounds,
work to get gun and clean air laws
give shelter to travelers when
needed, help pay bills
and lend a helping hand.
When we love you in our neighbor,
let us find you in ourselves.

The First Reading

(Deuteronomy 30: 10-14)

This command is not too mysterious and remote for you.

Where can we find your commandments, O Lord?
Could be hidden in the sky? Who will go up
and get it there and explain it to us?
Is it across the sea? Who will
cross the sea and get it for us so we
can ponder it and attempt to understand it?
“The command that I gave you is
not remote or mysterious.
Look no further than your heart.
My law, the law of love, is written there,
in your heart, in your mouth, in your very being.
I created you in my image. You love because I love.”
Lord, you are as near to us as our skin.
Help us always find you in our loves.

The Second Reading

(Colossians 1: 15-20)

All things were created through him and for him.

Christ: powers, and dominions, all things in heaven, on Earth,
were created through you and for you.
Yet you reached far down to us
and hollowed us out, put within us your own soul.
Beyond our knowing, but not beyond our love.
Let us find you in all you have created.

Music for reflection