But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbour?’ Jesus replied, ‘A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while travelling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, “Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.” Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?’ He said, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise.’
Reflection by Janet Derby
We have lived in our neighborhood for about 30 years. It is a fairly small subdivision – just under 40 houses. People are generally very friendly and come together to support each other in times of need. Yet, I can probably name fewer than a dozen people who live here. That is partly because I am terrible with names, but also because we just have not ever gotten to know most of the people well. Those we are close to instead are those we attend church with or work with or whose children are/were friends with our children, or friends on Facebook. Sometimes I wonder if our society has lost something by expanding the circle of our acquaintances, but perhaps not. The good neighbor in this Scripture was not a neighbor by geography. Rather, he was someone who cared for another simply because he was in trouble. Whether the person in need is next door or across the ocean, our responsibility as a neighbor is to help act them into well-being.
God of Love, thank you for all my neighbors who love and support me in times of need. Help me to understand that all your children, whether near or far, whether like me or very different, are my neighbors. Amen.