Moses, in the first reading today from Deuteronomy 30:10-14 tells us that keeping the statutes and commandments of God that are written in the book of the law, are not too mysterious or remote for us to attain. He says that we do not have to go up in the sky or cross the sea to attain it. It is very near to us, already in our mouths and hearts, and we need only carry it out.
The Gospel of Luke 10:25-37 follows up with the story of the Good Samaritan, which gives an example of the law. Do you remember when a scholar of the law wanted to test Jesus with what he has to do to inherit eternal life? Jesus asked him … “What is written in the law? How do you read it?” The scholar quotes correctly to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength as well as to love your neighbor as yourself. But, he asks Jesus, “who is my neighbor?”
How would we answer that today? Jesus tells of a man on the street, half-dead, robbed, stripped and beaten. Three people have an opportunity to help. A priest and a Levite pass by on the opposite side of the street doing nothing. A Samaritan, despised by Jews, stops and helps the man, even taking him to be lodged and taken care of until he returns. Jesus asks the scholar … “In your opinion, who was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?” The scholar replies … “the one who treated him with mercy.” Jesus tells the scholar and us to “go and do likewise.”
I am not sure about you, but in these times today, it is pretty easy for me to justify excuses in situations like this for my own safety. I think Jesus would have none of my excuses. He would help. I should try to help and to discern properly the circumstances with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I have personally become a champion of minding my own business and praying for Jesus or someone else to help. There are times that may be appropriate but sometimes, a soul may be screaming out to Jesus and Jesus is calling me to action and I need to act. Lord have mercy. Amen.