AD SENSE

27th Week, Monday, Oct 5


Galatians 1:6-12 / Luke 10:25-37 

Paul reproaches the Galatians: Hold fast to the Gospel I preached to you.  

Paul's letter to the Galatians was triggered by Judaizers.  

These conservative Jews followed Paul into new Christian communities and told the Christian converts that they must be circumcised. The Judaizers tried to discredit Paul by saying that he had watered down the Gospel to make it appealing to Christian converts. They accused Paul of preaching a gospel that was contrary to the true Gospel. Some Galatians believed the Judaizers and strayed from what Paul had taught them. 

As a result, Paul wrote this fearless letter to his new Christian converts in Galatia. 

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How faithfully do we follow the Gospel? How do we react when people, pretending to follow Jesus and the Gospel, challenge what we have been taught concerning Jesus and the Gospel? "I have complete confidence in the gospel; it is God's power to save all who believe." Romans 1:16 

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So very often we hear of this word "miscommunication". And that word kicks in whenever something is not done or done wrongly. Miscommunication essentially means a lack of clear or adequate communication. The problem may lie in the words being used or maybe a mistake somewhere in the line of communication. Yet miscommunication do not happen by intention. It is just that something is spoken wrongly, or written wrongly, or heard wrongly. We may call miscommunication an honest mistake. In the 1st reading, St. Paul emphasized that what he preached was the Good News of Christ. And there cannot be more than one version of the Good News. He warned that if anyone preached another version of the Good News, then that person is to be condemned. Because that is not miscommunication. That is distortion and even deception. That kind of distortion and deception of the Good News is certainly aimed at what people would like to hear. It would certainly win people's approval. What St. Paul is saying is that in preaching the Good News, one must not look for the approval of man but rather the approval from God.

Similarly living out the Good News and keeping the Commandments of God is not justifying ourselves or chalking up points with God. Rather it is about loving God and showing that love to our neighbour in thought, word and deed. Anything else would be a distortion and even a deception.

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October 5: Monday of 27th Week
WHO IS MY NEIGHBOR?

Introduction
The letter of Paul to the Galatians is a strong reaction that tries to safeguard the integrity of the gospel and of the young Church. The Judaizers, that is a group of Jews converted to Christianity alleged that new Christians had to accept the Jewish law and practices in order to be good Christians. What, then, about Christ and the cross?
According to an old Jewish story, a father tells his small son: “I think that God made people because he likes to tell stories and he wanted someone to tell them to.” We have Jesus with us today to tell us the immortal story of the Good Samaritan. Who is my neighbor? Anyone who needs me, whoever he or she may be. And “go and do the same.”

Opening Prayer
Our God and Father,
in signs and stories
your Son Jesus made it clear to us
that love of you and our neighbor
is the heart of the Christian life.
Make it indeed clear and obvious to us
that anyone in need is our neighbor
and that in serving those around us
we love and serve you,
our Lord and God for ever.

Commentary
Paul’s Letter to the Galatians is introduced today. It is a bold and forthright presentation of the Christian message, in language that is at times strong and eye-opening. The apostle loses no time in addressing one of the letter’s major claims. Certain members of the Christian faith are attempting to distort the gospel that Paul had preached by introducing different practices and norms. Who those people are will become evident later in the letter. Here Paul excludes their authenticity. In fact, anyone preaching a gospel different from that which he had preached is simply accursed. He says that because he preached a gospel not received or taught by human agents. It came to him as a revelation of Jesus Christ. Any attempts to alter or dilute it are in clear opposition to God’s revelation.
The Samaritans were not in communion with the Jews. Their relations were marked by clear hostility. But in the Gospels, in more than one instance, the Samaritans are presented in a positive light. Today’s parable is one of the most beloved in the whole of the New Testament. The history of the church points out the inroads that Christianity in its earliest years made among the Samaritans.
There are two lessons that emerge in today’s scripture. The first is never to exclude anyone from God’s love, which is universal and all-embracing. The church should be in the forefront of this all-inclusive love. The second lesson is to respect the sacredness of God’s revelation. There are many things within the church that are not essential to faith and can change. But other matters that touch the very heart of our belief cannot change but must remain as the teaching of God himself. It is an important distinction to make; lack of clarity can easily lead to discord and disagreement.

Points to Ponder
Paul and the revelation of God himself
Jews and Samaritans: the lesson
Our neighbor: anyone in need

Intercessions
– For all ministers of the Church, that they may faithfully proclaim God’s word and God’s law and at the same time walk in God’s ways of compassion and love without measure, we pray:
– For all those who lie wounded by the road of life, that they may find good Samaritans who assist them to restore their faith in life and their trust in people, we pray:
– For all those who have been good neighbors to us, that the Lord may reward them, we pray:

Prayer over the Gifts
Lord our God,
in these signs of bread and wine
your Son Jesus tells us the story
of how he has given his life for us.
Give him to us now,
that he may share with us
his strength to do as he did,
to give his and our life for all,
that we may live with him in your love,
now and for ever.

Prayer after Communion
Our God and Father,
we give you thanks for Jesus,
your Son in our midst.
Like him, may we tell with our lives
the old story, ever new,
of how you want to care through us
for every person in need.
God, live in us,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Blessing
We have heard how Jesus wants to make us all good Samaritans, people who have time and attention, compassion and love, for everyone in need. Our neighbor is any person who needs us. May the loving and almighty God bless you all, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.