15th Sunday: Deut. and Ps.

The Deuteronomy reading and the Psalm (if the Ps. 19 option is selected) offers an opportunity to preach well about Torah, both biblical and as observed by Jews today. As Christians look from the outside, the particulars of "the law" can seem burdensome, pointless, or worse, as we may be tempted to think when trying to account for the priest and Levite in the parable. Various passages from St. Paul and the gospels make Torah dispreferred in discussion between Jesus’ followers and other Jews. But those passages were composed in particular circumstances, aimed at specific situations. Surely Paul sometimes experiences writer’s remorse as he sees to what use some of his language is put! If we know Jews who kvetch dramatically about cupboard-cleaning at Seder time, we probably also know how deep a part of their lives Passover ritual is. In these readings we are shown that law, or instruction, starts close to us. But we must bring it into our lives, explore and befriend it, offer it hospitality until it becomes family. And then we respond as Jesus suggests: A situation of need becomes motivated, grounded, though rarely easy. But easy was never part of the promise! Barbara Green, OP

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