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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Who is Our Neighbor? The Parable of the Good Samaritan

Who is Our Neighbor?
The Parable of the Good Samaritan

In today’s gospel Jesus proclaims the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) in response to the lawyers question, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read it?” The scholar of law replied, “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.” Jesus replies, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.” The lawyer needed a bit more clarification and asked, “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 the way back.’ Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robber’s victim.?” The lawyer answered, “the one who treated him with mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

Who is our neighbor? They may be a co-worker who needs a ride after work to pick up their car from the auto shop, even when it is out of our way. He may be an elderly friend or relative who is lonely and needs company, even for just a few minutes. She may be the women with young children in the grocery store parking lot, whom you have never met, but needs assistance loading her car. She may be the frightened young girl sitting in her car outside an abortion clinic hoping that someone would happen by who would show her a way to choose life for her baby. They are the people at the food bank, at the retirement home, in the children’s hospitals, at the Big Brother’s Big Sister’s After School Care. Our neighbors are in front of us each day as we go about our daily duties. Our neighbors are our spouses, family, and friends. Some neighbors we know, some we do not. Our neighbor’s are those to whom we already show mercy and those to whom we should.

The Good Samaritan
Father James Kubicki
Apostleship of Prayer

"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' (Matthew 25:34-40)

Jesus Our Good Samaritan Icon
The Good Samaritan - Bassano
The Good Samaritan - Jean Francois Millet


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