As Christian, in today’s Gospel, we are being challenged to go a bit further and find ourselves being stretched. I may love the Lord with all my heart and all of my soul, but for me, who is my neighbor? To whom am I a good neighbor? As followers of Jesus, we have a choice: respond to unsettling realities by being cautious and suspicious or follow Him like the good Samaritan responding to “the call of the moment” with care, compassion, love, and availability.
Pope Francis, on his reflection of this reading said: “The priest and the Levite see, but ignore; they look but they do not offer to help. Yet there is no true worship if it doesn’t translate into service to neighbor. Let us never forget this: before the suffering of so many people exhausted by hunger, violence, and injustice, we cannot remain spectators” Contrary to all expectations, the despised Samaritan, a pagan, are a true neighbor to the injured man. He showed Himself to be Christ-like. He puts the Law into practice, without even knowing it.
Bl. Francisco Palau tells us on letter #88, we have two cardinal points of our vocation: To love God and love our neighbor. It is best expressed practically by showing mercy, concern, and love toward those in need. Whatever you do to your neighbors, you do it to me, because I am them and they are the Church. (MR. 8,12) Caring and responding to the needs of our neighbors urges us to commit ourselves in favor of justice and solidarity. As a disciple of Jesus and members of His Body, our life is focused on God and our neighbor. The needy obliges us to follow the path of compassion, sharing our time and resources, which creates healing, liberation, unity, and communion.
Could I spend some time reflecting on this parable as if it was addressed personally to me? I may love the Lord with all my heart and all my soul, but in my life, who is my neighbor? And to whom am I a good neighbor?