Thursday, February 9, 2012

Who is our neighbor?

"If you are willing to help the one who needs you--if you are willing to love-- then you can be a neighbor to every person you meet."
Fr. Wilfrid Stinissen, "The is the Day the Lord has Made"

Back in Jesus' day, the Jewish people pretty much stayed away from other groups who did not believe as they did. They purposely shunned people like Samaritans, tax collectors, "sinners" (perhaps they didn't see themselves as sinners). When the young lawyer asked Jesus who his "neighbor" was and Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus really set them all on their ear. The Samaritan was the hero of the story, for one thing, and also Jesus helped them see that going out of your way to help another person, no matter who their were, was the ideal. Not only did Jesus talk about it, but he practiced it--regularly associating with people the Jewish people were used to shunning. He said it. He did it. So unlike the Jewish leaders of his day. So, we ask the question, "Who is our neighbor?" And Jesus again asks us to stretch ourselves. The people who are unlike us. The people we have been thinking we need to shun. The people who speak a different language or read a different holy book. The people we may think of as our enemies. The people who need us. Love, heidi

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