15th Sunday of the Year – Like Riding a Bike

How to ride a bike

Study:  Consider one area in your life that you could improve living your faith.  What would it be?

Pray:  Ask the Lord to give you opportunities to stretch and grow.

Serve:  How might the Lord be calling you to be a Good Samaritan today?  Right now?

15th Sunday Readings

My first bike was lime green.  It had a banana seat with curved handlebars (NOT designed for comfort).  The fenders were made out of industrial steel and it weighed more than I did.  In time I made a little wooden box to fit behind the seat that was barely big enough to hold chewing gum.  I thought it was the most awesome set of wheels in the world.

I still remember learning to ride it.  My family lived out in the country and we had a fairly long driveway.  I started with training wheels until one day my dad took them off.  He walked beside me a couple of times as I practiced and then watched at a distance as I rode (and occasionally fell) on the driveway.

Do you remember when you learned to ride?  At the time it is an exhilarating feeling.  The wind rushes by, the speed is great, and a new found sense of freedom appears.  What a moment!

Yet this discovery happens through trial and error.  Learning to ride a bike takes diligence and determination.  You can’t read it in a book or learn about it by watching television.  Riding a bike happens when we get on the seat and start pedaling.  It happens when we act, and in the process we learn by doing.

In the Scriptures today we are reminded that all the learning and teaching of our faith is only good when it is put into action.  The commands are not difficult to understand, and they do not require extensive explanation.  Yet without hard work, time, and steadfast application they are meaningless; only through action does our faith become real.

The Good Samaritan is a wonderful example.  As this Samaritan – filled with compassion – tends to the wounds and sores of the beaten man, he differs from the Levite and Priest (who knew better and still walked by).  He was a stranger and foreigner, yet he practiced his faith in God with a sincerity that serves as a sharp contrast to the “religious professionals” of his day.

We have opportunities every day to practice our faith.  Kindness, charity, forgiveness, patience, hope, and understanding are but a sample of the ways we show to others the faith we profess.  In the end our faith is not complicated; the challenge is to live each day with the conviction that God calls us to holiness and invites us to live the love of Christ with one another.

About Fr. Andrew Ricci

A Catholic priest since 1997, Fr. Andrew Ricci is currently the rector of the Cathedral of Christ the King in Superior, WI. His website "Three Great Things" can be found at studyprayserve.com and his podcasts can be found under "Catholic Inspiration" in the iTunes store. View all posts by Fr. Andrew Ricci

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