Jesus has a conversation with a lawyer today about how to inherit eternal life and who exactly is our neighbor. And Jesus gives an example of a man who is robbed and beaten and ignored by two priests but is helped by an individual who is a pariah to the society at that time, a Samaritan. The shocking nature of this tale is lost on most of us as we don't understand just how far outside the Jewish societal norms Samaritans were.
It is so easy to be that lawyer who was looking to justify himself to Jesus, while Jesus is telling us that it is not justification or words he is looking for from us. He is looking and expecting us to act, behave and live in a certain way, where we instinctually understand who our neighbor is: we don't have to ask, we just know. And we act, help, reach out to all those around us, or to those who we pass on the journey. Quite the task we are given today.
Copyright 2009, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.