July 11, 2010: 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time
A lawyer asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead.” A priest and Levite both passed him without giving him any help. “But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where the man was; and when he saw him, he had compassion, and went to him and bound up his wounds.” The Samaritan not only stopped to assist the man but he also took him to an inn where he paid the innkeeper to take care of the man until he was well. Jesus then asked the lawyer, “Which of these three, do you think, proved neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” (Luke 10:25-37)
I’m sure you remember this story from St. Luke’s gospel. The lawyer knew the commandments: to love God and love his neighbor as himself. He asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus chose a Samaritan as an example of someone who really obeyed the commandments and proved his love for another. The lawyer was a Jew and Jews hated Samaritans. In this story, Jesus tells us that the person who does what is right obeys the commandments, no matter who they are. We can say we are Christians, but if we fail to do what is right we are falling short of being Christian, of loving God with all our heart, soul and strength, and loving our neighbor as ourselves.
Saint Mother Theodore Guerin had this to say about love: “To love in the right way is to accomplish the whole Law …Love all in God and for God, and all will be well …Your heart will tell you what to do.” Try to keep her words of wisdom in mind.