Lectio Divina: 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time
“And who is my neighbor?” — Luke 10:29
Praying with the Gospel for today, I was immediately drawn to reflect on the verse featured above: Who is my neighbor? It seems like a very basic, easy question. However, it’s one we often attempt to look over and forget about, even without consciously thinking about it. Unfortunately, we often do not ask “who is my neighbor,” and instead ask “who is not my neighbor,” in an attempt to make life “easier” for ourselves.
Know this, friend: people are not loopholes for us to avoid. They are living and breathing images of the Father. When we are met with the question “who is my neighbor,” there are no exceptions – everyone is. Everyone. Including the displaced man begging for money on our commute. The person we disagree with on everything, from movie choices to politics. The one fellow parishioner we cannot stand. There are no loopholes, no one left out. We are called to love, even if we do not “like” someone. We are called to love – even love to the cross.
On the journey of discipleship, loving others will not always be easy. Nor will it be necessarily “productive” or “beneficial.” However, we are called to love regardless. The victim and the Samaritan might’ve had a million differences. But at the moment of their encounter, one needed grace, and the other had the ability to show grace. We might often feel like the victim, or the Samaritan, but we must pray and take heed that we don’t end up being like the priest or Levite: walking past and turning a blind eye to someone in need.
- Am I striving for eternal life?
- Do I love God with all my heart, mind, being, strength, and mind?
- Do I love my neighbor as myself?
- Do I hesitate to love others as Jesus loved them?
- Who am I in the parable of the Good Samaritan? Am I the man who fell victim, the priest/Levite that walked by, or the Samaritan who stopped to help?