While reading through the Gospels one regularly encounters references to the Samaritans and the strained relations that the Jews had with them. The source of the conflict goes back more than 700 years before the time of Christ. The original 12 Tribes of Israel had split into two separate nations: ten Tribes to the north, and two tribes (Judah and Benjamin) to the south. The northern kingdom had been defeated by the Assyrians around 722 B.C. The Assyrians forcibly moved many of the people to other lands (the “lost tribes of Israel”) and moved five foreign peoples into the area. The resulting “mixed” population led to a compromise of their faith. Because of this compromise, the two southern Tribes (the Jews – descendants of Judah) would no longer have anything to do with the Samaritans (of Samaria) to the north. Now, at the time of Jesus – more than 700 years later – there still exists great hostility between them. Talk about holding a grudge! But in today’s Gospel, it is the lone Samaritan among the ten lepers healed that returns to give thanks to God. It is one more example of how even those (especially those?!) who have been estranged from God are most open to being reconciled to Him.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has stated, “The promotion of the practice of stewardship is important for the mission of the Church and for the spiritual well-being of each individual Christian. Everyone benefits from the sacrificial gift one makes of his time, talent and treasure.” I want to express my deep gratitude to our parishioners who generously support the works of the Church; and in a particular way those who have already returned their pledge card for the Inspired by the Spirit Capital Campaign. If you have not yet returned your pledge card, I hope you will consider a generous gift, according to your means.
May God bless you!