Monday, July 11, 2016

There is no "other"

"The one you think you hate is about to help you. The one you think is wrong has something to teach you. There is no 'other.'"
Fr. James Martin, SJ, web reflection on the Good Samaritan

In these days of powerful and vehement disagreement, this little reflection was so illuminating to me. In the Gospel of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), Jesus is asked "Who is my neighbor?" He answers with the story we are all familiar with about the Samaritan guy helping the injured fellow by the side of the road.  While people would have been shocked that Jesus made a hero of the Samaritan, we can learn and be shocked too.  What Jesus was teaching all of us is that the one we think we hate has something to teach us. The one we disagree with will help us. What am I to learn from the person who is my political opposite? What can I teach the person on the other side? We all have our strong opinions and views and that is OK, but our greatest teachers are the people with whom we disagree the most. They can teach us about acceptance, tolerance and the REAL neighbor-ness that Jesus is talking about.  So, the next time we are screaming at the TV talking heads (why are we watching them in the first place?) let's stop and think, what can I learn from this "other" point of view? Maybe that there really is no "other" in Jesus' neighborhood. We are all one under God.  Wow, that, right? Love, heidi

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