A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC
July 29, 2016
May 24, 2020
Who Is My Neighbor?
July 12, 2019
In this Sunday’s Gospel from Luke we hear of a scholar who was questioning Jesus about what a person must do to attain eternal life, the man answers:
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
With all your being, with all your strength,
And with all your mind
And you shall love your neighbor as yourself.
And the scholar went further, questioning Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus tells the familiar story of the Good Samaritan. The “neighbor” in that case being a complete stranger.
It is easier to love our neighbors as ourselves when we know and have a relationship with them. Often there is not much challenge in that, for it may be a person who shares the same life experience, lives literally in the same neighborhood or perhaps even those we work with. The challenge in the example that Jesus gives us in this Gospel is; how do we love those we have never known, those whose lives do not align with ours? What about the person who believes differently than I do? What about those who do not share my political views or those who do not even speak my language? How do I love them in the same way that I love myself?
Might we, even for those we do not know, hope and pray for them the same things that we hope and pray for ourselves? Might we see in every person profound human dignity and the image of God in which they were created? Jesus is calling us to love all his people, not only those with whom we come in contact and befriend, rather all humanity, the rich and the poor, the educated and the illiterate, people of every nation, race, creed and color – there are no exceptions.
So where is your heart? Can you love all of God’s people? Do you care that every person has the opportunity to live life, fulfilled, respected, cared for and loved? Or do you hold prejudice against others who do not share your path in life?
Let us pray to God for his assistance as we continue to grow in love with him and his people. Let us open our hearts and allow the Holy Spirit to give us the courage and the strength to address where we fall short of loving our neighbor. And let us thank God for loving us that we might love all people.