The Young Man at the Tomb Holding Fast to Each Other Amen to What We Are The Lord, Our Justice Claiming Our True Name What We Expect The Comma Keeping the Demons Quiet The Dove in the Heavens Thankfulness and Generosity Speaking to Jesus A Promise to Simeon and Us A Sign for You The Voice in the Wilderness How Annunciations Work The Least, the Lost, and the Last Waiting for Christ’s Return Attire for the Kingdom The Cross in a Violent World Come to the Banquet Today Anointing of the Sick Finding the Eternal Change and Continuity Paying Attention The First and the Last Using Bad Consequences How to Talk to God Ready to Forgive Facing the Serpent Priority and Mutuality Three Meals a Day Searching for Pearls The Power of Service Why Walk on Water? The Day Jesus Was Wrong The Promise of the New Name The Two Feet of Love Facing the Hour Looking Backwards Touching the Leper Touching the Leper Misunderstanding God Doing It Poorly God’s Midwife A Name for the Holy Spirit The Coffin So We Do Not Have to Touch Being Better to Each Other Earthquakes and Galilee Lazarus as a Disciple Seeing More Learning from Peter Imitating God’s Holiness Weekly Bulletin 3/2/14 Imitating God’s Holiness Weekly Bulletin 3/9/14 Choosing a Master Goodness in Temptation A Pinch of Salt Teaching the Commandments The Freedom of the Baptist Christ’s Broken Body Faith Is More than Looking The Twelve Days of Christmas God’s Timing Resurrection and Transformation The Good That Is Gone Zacchaeus Moments God in the Smallest Things Trust and Community When God’s Commands Do Not Fit The Faith of Honeybees Choosing Hell Following the Dishonest Steward The Ninety-Nine The Freedom to Let Go Beyond Politics The Balance of Humility Not Fearing Fire The Beauty Remains To Welcome as a Samaritan A Moveable Peace Bring On the Women! The Two Sides of Bread Waiting for the Ticket The Groove of the Spirit Jesus Is Not Like Congress A Divine Partnership What Kind of Love Is This? Boston Bombings and God Fishing and Forgiveness A New Kind of Joy Letting Christ Out The Sign of Inversion Our Doodling God A Parable of Love and Jealousy Not Enough Time The Ordinary and the Transcendent The Battle with the Devil God Is Not Kidding The Power of Love We Are the Body of Christ The Arc of Life Waiting for the Final Gift Displacement at Christmas Incarnating God Presenting the Mess Red Cake and Lima Beans A Call to Serve Beyond Asking Jesus’ Commandment Being Ready to Take God in the Foxhole God Is Still Working Adjusting What Is Necessary Learning from the Prophet Amos About Jesus’ Brothers The Most Popular Miracle The Importance of Hunger Eternal Life Influencing Others Finding the Right Proportion Do What You Love Stopping for the Least To Love Irritating People Marriage, Divorce, and Children Asking for More Drinking the Cup Terror in Paris God Will Come Boundaries, Security, and Generosity Feeling Movements of Life A Place to Learn God Uses Small Things Signs of Life When God Says No Christian Optimism From Transition to Call The Long Struggle The Gate of Heaven Common Sense or Hope The Spoiled Son An Oasis for Everyone Jesus’ Last Meal The Curious Omission Finding a Pony Anointing of the Sick A New Commandment After the Ascension Sin and Love The Cross and Joy The Call to Follow A Call for Humility Violence in America Two Thoughts on Prayer Live Today with Thanksgiving An Examined Life The Narrow Gate Serving Ourselves Losing Sheep Using Dishonest Wealth The Door and the Chasm Faith and Duty Distance and More Not Growing Weary Making a Difference Inadequacies and Grace Finding God Facing Turmoil Jesus, Remember Me The Lion and the Lamb Wild Like John Let Go in Love A Wider Christmas The Last Six Miles God’s Big Plan The Remnant The Salt of the Earth Beyond the Ten Commandments Love Your Enemy Focusing Our Worry How Evil Works Our Transfiguration Re-membering Our Lives Our Story If Only The Time for Hope A Second Greeting of Peace The Eucharist and Welcoming Practicing Non-Violence The Work of Forgiveness Why Are You Looking Up at the Sky? The Mystery of Salvation Being Thankful How Is a Burden Light? The Problem with Sparrows Eternal Creation Patient Vigilance Buried Treasure Thinking Again Where You Do Not Want to Go The Courage to Speak Humility and Truth Do Something Good Knowing the Song Acting Against Evil God Will Come What We Can Say Senseless Violence Invitation as a Threat What Belongs to God Two Commands, Side by Side Burdens We May Not See Foolish or Wise Accepting the Consequences Serving the Least Watching for Jesus Camels and Gnats Becoming Smaller The Christmas Barber The Ring of the Kings The Freedom and Faith of John the Baptist Zebedee The Opioid Crisis Approaching, Grasping, Lifting Up What God Intends The Battle with Satan Following Elijah and Moses Standing in Truth A God of Love or Condemnation When Life Turns Not Fully Prepared The Wounds We Carry Selling Onions Son of Encouragement To Love as God Loves Engagement with the World Doubting Disciples Sabbath Avoiding the Diabolical Persistent Hope Speaking the Word Within Us “And Also With You” Capital Punishment I Will Go On Three Wise Choices Will You Also Leave? Show No Partiality Carrying the Cross for Whom? Outside the Lines The Camel and the Needle Ask First for Sight What God Sees Only God The Arc of the Universe Turmoil, Fear, and Dismay The Gift of the Desert A Punch for the Holidays Politics and Religion Jesus Always Understands One Body God’s Love The Call Blessings and Woes Imitating God’s Mercy The Blind Leading the Blind The Devil’s Agenda Looking Closer, Looking Beyond Accepting God’s Love Mob Thinking The Easter Egg Fishing with Uncle Mike Loving Like Jesus God’s in Love with This World

To Welcome as a Samaritan

Fr. George Smiga
July 14, 2013
Luke 10:25-37

Today’s gospel is more about actions than motives. We see what all the characters do, but it is not clear why they do it. Why for example do the priest and the Levite pass the man who has been attacked on the road and do not stop? Could it be that they were on their way to an important appointment? Were they perhaps afraid to become involved in this violent scene where a beating took place? Or did they have just something else on their minds? The parable does not tell us.

The Samaritan stopped because he was moved with compassion. But the parable does not tell us the reason for his compassion. The story does not disclose the motives of the characters because its main emphasis is on their actions. The priest and the Levite do not stop. The Samaritan does. The priest and the Levite do not show compassion. The Samaritan does. Clearly we are meant to follow the example of the Samaritan. We are not to pass people by. We are not to ignore their presence. We like the Samaritan are to stop and connect with people who are journeying with us on the road of life.

Now of course, when we stop, if they need help we should try to help them. But the example of the Samaritan is much larger than helping people in need. The Samaritan also gives us an example of welcoming the stranger, of recognizing the presence of someone we meet, of welcoming another into our life.

I would like to apply this trait of welcoming to our parish here at St. Noel. From the time I became pastor here I was always, and continue to be, impressed by the welcoming nature of our community. Indeed, as new parishioners register most mention how welcomed they feel when they first came to St. Noel. This characteristic of welcoming was so important that our Parish Pastoral Council included it as part of our mission statement. We are “a community committed to gracious welcoming.”

A few months ago we passed out a survey that allowed people to respond to the mission statement. The overwhelming majority affirmed the characteristic of being a welcoming community. But interestingly enough there were a handful of people who mentioned that when they first came to St. Noel they did not feel welcomed. For whatever reason, no one said hello, no one greeted them, no one made them feel at home. Now the fact that a few people did not feel welcomed does not mean that we are a cold community. But it does calls us to do a better job of welcoming, to focus on how to increase this characteristic in our community.

This is what the Pastoral Council discussed for several months this spring, looking at a variety of opportunities and possibilities of increasing the welcoming nature of our community. We discussed at length whether we should establish a Welcoming Ministry, a group of people who would stand at the doors of the church and welcome people as they came to Mass. But the more we discussed that possibility the less we like it. Welcoming others cannot be relegated to a small group within the parish. All of us need to be people who welcome one another regularly and openly. It is an essential part of being a parishioner. We are all called to follow the example of the Samaritan, to stop and recognize the presence of a brother or sister and welcome others into our lives.

So this is my appeal to you today. I would like you to welcome the people around you, and I mean that literally. Look at the people who are sitting around you. Some of them you know. Some of them you don’t know. I ask you, after mass today, to say hello to someone around you, especially someone you might not know, to welcome one another as fellow parishioners of St. Noel.

Now if this is a little embarrassing, you can put it on me. You can go up to someone and say, “You know, I’ve been sitting next to you for ten years and I don’t know who you are. But Fr. George told me to ask you.” It’s fine. Be like the Good Samaritan. Stop. Reach out. Connect with someone who is making the journey of faith with you. Now of course, at the end of mass, you can throw your hymnal into the rack and run out to your car, passing by everyone on the way. But then you would be following the example of the priest or the Levite. That is not what Christ asks of us. He asks us to stop, like the Samaritan. The Samaritan is the one who welcomes. The Samaritan is the helper. The Samaritan is the disciple and the neighbor. This is why Jesus says, “Go and do likewise.”

Change this in Theme Options
Change this in Theme Options