At the end of our Gospel of the Good Samaritan this weekend Jesus leads the lawyer to answer his own question – who is my neighbor? ‘The one who showed him mercy.’ answers the lawyer.
Yet, had he really responded to the question of Jesus? The lawyer had originally asked ‘Who is my neighbor?’ while the question that Jesus put to him is rather: ‘To whom am I neighbor?’
This may appear a minor point at first – however the original question of the lawyer was inadequate – it implied that there are limits to love, that our charity is only to be afforded to some, not all. In other words the lawyer was concerned about who should be the object of our love, our neighbor, and to whom can we not show love – someone who is not our neighbor. Jesus on the other hand sought to teach about love itself.
One cannot, or should not, be distracted by the question ‘is this person really my neighbor?’ No, love is not a theory of allocation – it’s an action that ought to be universal. The wounded man was a neighbor to the priest, the Levite and the Samaritan – but only one of these acted.
Theorizing about who is our neighbor is not what we are about as Christians – its about acting on the truth that Christian charity knows no bounds.
A Big Thank you for those of you who have taken the time to consider your level of giving to the parish. Our weekly income has been significantly boosted over the past two months and we have come a good way towards being sustainable financially as a parish.
If you have yet to follow up on this and make an adjustment – we would still like to encourage you to do so.
Many thanks once again.