Monday, October 9, 2017

“We instinctively tend to limit for whom we exert ourselves. We do it for people like us, and for people whom we like…..Jesus will have none of that….. Everyone is your neighbor, and you must love your neighbor.”

“On the parable of the Good Samaritan: "I imagine that the first question the priest and Levite asked was: 'If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?' But by the very nature of his concern, the good Samaritan reversed the question: 'If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?” ― Martin Luther King Jr.Strength to Love

Gospel Text: (LK 10:25-37)
There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test Jesus and said,
"Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
Jesus said to him, "What is written in the law?
How do you read it?"
He said in reply,
"You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your being,
with all your strength,
and with all your mind,
and your neighbor as yourself."
He replied to him, "You have answered correctly;
do this and you will live."

But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus,
"And who is my neighbor?"
Jesus replied,
"A man fell victim to robbers
as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho.
They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead.
A priest happened to be going down that road,
but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
Likewise a Levite came to the place,
and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him
was moved with compassion at the sight.
He approached the victim,
poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them.
Then he lifted him up on his own animal,
took him to an inn, and cared for him.
The next day he took out two silver coins
and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction,
'Take care of him.
If you spend more than what I have given you,
I shall repay you on my way back.'
Which of these three, in your opinion,
was neighbor to the robbers' victim?"
He answered, "The one who treated him with mercy."
Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."

It is easy to be a good neighbor to people whom we want to impress, or people we care about, or people we just like, but can we be the same to the stranger on the street, the lonely, the depressed, the person with AIDS, the addict, those who don’t look like us, talk like us, or have different beliefs?  Can we be compassionate and merciful neighbors to people who are of a different race or from a different country?  When was the last time anyone of us truly looked into the eyes of someone who was being bullied, or cared about the story of a refugee? How can we be a neighbor to people we hardly look at or are too afraid to care about?  Maybe if we saw the presence of God in everyone we encountered, we would open our minds, our hearts, our beings, and compassion and mercy will radiate out of us, because we are children of God.  In essence, we would have awoken into life.  So, let’s ask ourselves this: have I been a merciful and compassionate neighbor today? 

No comments:

Post a Comment