Gospel Reading and Thoughts for July 14, 2013

Gospel – Luke 10:25-37

There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test him and said,good samaritan
“Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law?
How do you read it?”
He said in reply,
“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.”

He replied to him, “You have answered correctly;
do this and you will live.”

But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus,
“And who is my neighbor?”
Jesus replied,
“A man fell victim to robbers
as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho.
They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead.
A priest happened to be going down that road,
but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
Likewise a Levite came to the place,
and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him
was moved with compassion at the sight.
He approached the victim,
poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them.
Then he lifted him up on his own animal,
took him to an inn, and cared for him.
The next day he took out two silver coins
and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction,
‘Take care of him.
If you spend more than what I have given you,
I shall repay you on my way back.’
Which of these three, in your opinion,
was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?”
He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.”
Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

Who is my neighbor?  Our children can take this quite literally – the people who live next door to us!  And perhaps we too consider those whom God is asking us to love as those people who are the closest to us.  But even more importantly, our neighbor whom Christ is commanding us to love includes those who are not as easy to love.  This includes that person in Walmart who gives us a dirty look when our kids got in their way, the driver who cuts us off in traffic, the receptionist or cashier who is unamused that their services are required.  God is asking us to love even through difficulties.  He is asking us to show them special kindness and love because they are God’s children.  Since he created them, He loves them and because we are all children of God, we too should show them the love of Christ.  You may be the only light that they see that day.  Your smile or kind gesture to your neighbor might be exactly what they need to make their problems seem a little bit easier to bear.

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