Gospel: Luke 10:25-37
Then a teacher of the law came and began putting Jesus to the test. And he said, “Master, what shall I do to receive eternal life?” Jesus re plied, “What is written in the law? How do you understand it?” The man answered, “It is written: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and with all your mind. And you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus replied, “What a good answer! Do this and you shall live.” The man wanted to justify his question, so he asked, “Who is my neighbor?”
Jesus then said, “There was a man going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him, beat him and went off, leaving him half- dead.
It happened that a priest was going along that road and saw the man, but passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite saw the man, and passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan also was going that way; and when he came upon the man, he was moved with compassion. He went over to him, and cleaned his wounds with oil and wine, and wrapped them in bandages. Then he put him on his own mount, and brought him to an inn, where he took care of him.
The next day, he had to set off; but he gave two silver coins to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him, and whatever you spend on him, I will repay when I return.’”
Jesus then asked, “Which of these three, do you think, made himself neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The teacher of the law answered, “The one who had mercy on him.” And Jesus said, “Then go and do the same.”
“Then go and do the same.”
Jesus was born into a world with prevalent social groupings. Sacred Scriptures would point to such groups as the scribes, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Jews, the Romans, the Samaritans, the outcasts, etc. Naturally there was widespread division in society, and in many cases, bitter rivalries. Membership in one makes you an ally, but makes you an enemy of the opponent group. Hence one is regarded either as a friend or as a foe. Those who are considered neighbors and definitely only the friends. Jesus uses the parable of the Good Samaritan to redefine who is a neighbor.
We can have a very narrow understanding of who our neighbors are. At best we can easily point to those who live with us in the same territory or those who are our “ka-barrio”, “ka-purok”, or those who live within the vicinity of our residences. But the teaching of Jesus emphasizes a new under- standing of who our neighbor is. Our neighbor is everybody; we all belong to one family. Therefore, Christians as we are, followers of Jesus, the tall order of Loving the Neighbor means loving anyone and everyone without exception.
© Copyright Bible Diary 2019