Monday, October 3, 2016

Reflection: Luke 10:25-37

Monday of the 27th Week in Ordinary Time - Luke 10:25-37

The Gospel for today is a familiar one. It begins with a scholar of the law testing Jesus. The scholar asks Jesus what he needs to do to inherit eternal life. Jesus fires a question back at him and asks the scholar what the law says. The man replies correctly: “You should love God wholeheartedly and also love your neighbor.” Jesus agreed that he replied correctly.

The scholar however is not satisfied with his answer. He then asks Jesus another question: “Who is my neighbor?” Once again Jesus does not answer him directly. Rather Jesus describes a scenario in which a man who was traveling alone was robbed, beaten, and left for dead on the roadside. Eventually a priest came by, ignored him and continued on his way. Later a Levite (a holy man) came along. He also made it a point to pass by on the other side of the road. He did not want to be contaminated by this unclean man. Then a while later a Samaritan came along. The Samaritans were a people despised by many of the Jews because they were a mixed society with both Jewish and pagan ancestry. Yet it was this despised man who stopped and cared for the injured man. He even took him to an inn and paid for him to be nursed back to health. His actions clearly spoke of his love of neighbor.

In today’s world most of us are cautioned to be careful — especially with strangers. And to a degree this is good advice. However, in today’s Gospel Jesus tells us to reach out and care for those who are in need—despite their race, religion, or political opinions.

Today may we open our eyes, mind and heart to someone who is in need and do what we can to care for them. May we have the eyes of Jesus and see every person as he does — one of God’s beloved.

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