Sunday, July 15, 2007

Good Samaritan

There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test him 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.”
Luke 10:25-37


Dear Father your Son teaches us the importance of being a loving neighbor. He gives us a few examples of what is not a loving neighbor. Which one of the three examples of people are we, a priest, a Levite, or a Samaritan? Do we tend to cross over to the other side of the street also to avoid being a good Samaritan. And then there are those who also cross the street to stand and watch the unfolding drama. How often have we seen an accident with people milling around or a line a cars off to the side watching the happenings and not once offering a hand. Are we too one of those. We live in an age where we are sue happy and people are frightened to stop and help our neighbors when they are in need. What have we become then. It's not just accidents, what about people whose lives are in need in our own areas. We give so much to distant people and that is so very good, but often we overlook those around us. The children of abused or from broken homes, the women beaten and in need, the addicts that can't find a way out, the alcoholics who drown their pain in a bottle and so forth. May we see our neighbors in a new light and give them the love that they need. Let us be also one who Jesus regards as a good Samaritan because he exhorts us to treat others with mercy and to go and do likewise. Amen

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