This weekend the church celebrates the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time. This weekends Gospel is probably the worlds, best teaching story.Adopted by the media, and all sorts of things, and now getting slightly overused, and has become an attack, when others don't follow this. It is indeed, a beautiful parable, which we can learn so much from.
We have become aware, from scripture, how much the teachers, and Pharisees want to trick Jesus into saying something against the Law. And today's reading is no exception. The Pharisees are trying their hardest to trap Jesus. They know he is song of a carpenter, they think Jesus might not know to much about the law (which they should have learned was false by now.) It is out of jealousy, people were turning from their Capital T rules, and moving to teaching Christ offered. The Pharisees are always trying to nit-pick at everything more popular than themselves, and take them down.
This is exactly why Jesus shares today's Parable. Jesus shares how a Priest went by, looked, and did not help. The Priest didn't want to contaminate himself- make himself unclean. Then a Levite walked by, and ignored the man again. Then Finally, a Samaritan- an enemy to any Jew. But instead of being like the Priest of high rank, or the Levite with a reputation to keep, the enemy stops and helps. The enemy becomes a the neighbor.
Jesus offers one last question. Who is the neighbor? The enemy. Jesus tells us, multiple times, to get rid of the differences. To repent, and be kind to those whom persecute you. Jesus shares kindness, love, and forgiveness. He WANTS us to reconcile with each other,- to make things right. Regardless of who you are and what your relationship with the other person is.
Now WE are left with the questions, " Who is our neighbor?" and, "Who can become our neighbor?"
Now we must look beyond our own reputations, our own highness, or level of occupation, and see who is our neighbor. Who can we love? Who can we help? We must put our lives to a fast STOP and look, Who is our neighbor. Who are those whom we can do something for? Give food, Give money, Give forgiveness.
We must look beyond our own judgments, and look who can become our neighbor? Who are the ones whom we give titles to? Whom are the ones whom we cannot forgive? Whom are the ones whom we can do something for, but yet we refuse. THEY can become and ARE our neighbors!
Answering these questions rise one last one, that I cannot answer. The answer is up to you:
Who is Your Neighbor?