Monday of the Twenty Seventh Week in Ordinary Time
October 5, 2020
Memorial Feast: Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos (1819-1867), Redemptorist Priest
Readings: Letter of Saint Paul to the Galatians 1:6-12; Psalm 111:1-2, 7-10;
I suspect that all of us have a small, anxious, and nagging voice in our hearts that asks the question, “What does it take to be a neighbor?” Just like the “scholar” in today’s Gospel narrative, we sense correctly that the stakes are very high.
Indeed, they are nothing short of eternal life. There are times when being the
kind of neighbor, the kind of person God calls us to be seems so natural.
Like an Olympic-caliber athlete, the heart moves, the mind seizes on the right
action, and the body carries through. “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 your neighbor as yourself.”
Oh, by the way, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. Here, in this last part of Jesus’ teaching, is the hard part. Loving, especially loving God, can so easily become abstract, private, and part of our list of things to do. Loving by being a neighbor especially to those who are very needy very, ugly or very wounded loses all abstraction. Surely our neighbor is not the irritating person in front of me, not the ungrateful child, and not the arrogant colleague in my office. Jesus, in His teaching, is telling us that our neighbors
are everyone. Therefore, we are to be the “Good Samaritan” to everyone we meet
Question of the Day: When you meet someone in need will you offer your assistance without question?
Prayer: Lord, You offer a magnificent challenge to our conventional ways of thinking in the parable of the Good Samaritan. Help me to think honestly and with vigor as I identify those that I relegate to the category of feared and despised minorities in the world. Help me to see with your eyes instead of my own tired and suspicious ones. Amen.