Who is your neighbor?
Sunday’s reading is a rather well known Gospel parable. So much so we have a law named after the hero, I worked at one of the many hospitals to carry the name of the one that came to the rescue of an injured man...the story of the Good Samaritan is well known.
The story is told and told again, each time asking us to ponder the question: “who is my neighbor?”
Most recently, the story is being used by Christian groups at the US/Mexico border to advocate a policy of welcome and hospitality. Considering the heat around this debate, a heat more scorching than the sun in the El Paso sector, we need to be careful not to allow partisanship to scream over the Biblical relevance of today’s crisis. People are dying.
I don’t doubt anyone could successfully deny (biblically or geographically) that these are our neighbors dying in the desert. But the story of the injured man on the road and the Samaritan is not just a story provoking us to consider who our neighbor is. The story also challenges us on how we are to treat our neighbor. How do you bind up wounds and care for the injured? Is it easier to walk by the homeless man on the street? Can we ignore the crisis at the borderlands?
We have been commanded since the days of Moses to love God with our whole heart, our whole mind, and our whole soul. And to likewise love our neighbor as ourselves. How do we respond? We do so in faith. We do so in love and compassion. We do so as Christian people who extend the love of God to all we encounter. Who is your neighbor - how do we treat them? In John 13:35 Jesus tells us “This is how everyone will know that you are my disciples when you love each other."
Yours in Christ,