Oct 5 2020 Reflection
Monday 5 October 2020
First Reading: GAL 1:6-12
The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
PS 111:1B-2, 7-8, 9 AND 10C
Gospel Reading: LK 10:25-37
Today’s Note: Monday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time
There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test Jesus 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?”
“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.”
When he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. (Luke 10:31)
In Jesus’ parable, the priest and the Levite passed by a man on the side of the road who had been robbed, beaten, and left for dead. We don’t know why these two men continued on their way—maybe they were hurrying to an appointment or were just fearful about stopping and possibly getting robbed and beaten themselves. Maybe they just didn’t care. Only the Samaritan was willing to sacrifice his time and money to save the man.
It’s likely that each of us will “pass by” someone in need today. While it could be someone literally stranded by the side of the road, it could also be a coworker who is wrestling with loneliness. It could be someone in our own home, like a teenager who is worried and anxious. How will we relate to these “neighbors” whom Jesus is asking us to love (Luke 10:27)? Could we start by sitting with the coworker in the lunchroom and getting to know that person? Could we set aside some time for our child to ask him what’s on his mind and how he’s really doing?
Jesus shared this parable to illustrate how God defines love and how he invites us to love the people around us. Loving our neighbor often translates to some level of personal sacrifice. It requires us to be accessible. It might call us out of our comfort zone, or it might mean giving of our time and resources. Maybe we don’t feel we have anything extra to give at that moment.
Just think: Jesus could have “passed by” us, remained in heaven, and avoided the pain of becoming a man and enduring the cross. But he didn’t. He suffered for us so that we could be reunited with his Father. He saw each of us as a beloved child of the Father worth sacrificing and dying for.
When we make sacrifices to enter into someone else’s life, we are loving the way Jesus loves. We are choosing to see our neighbors as he sees them—as beloved children of God. Today Jesus invites us to “go and do likewise” (Luke 10:37).
“Jesus, show me how to love my neighbor today.”