The parable of the Good Samaritan illustrates that love supersedes all
by Sister Rose Jochmann
Sunday's Gospel reading is the familiar parable of the Good Samaritan. A scholar of the law asked Jesus, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus referred the scholar to what is written in the law: “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.”
But the scholar seems to make excuses. He said he was not clear about who is his neighbor. So he asks Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” In response, Jesus gives us the parable of the Good Samaritan. We know the story well. Reading the parable, I think Jesus gives us two steps for loving our neighbor.
Step 1: See. As with the priest, Levite and Samaritan, the first step is that we have to see our neighbor in need. We have to open our eyes and be aware of the needs of those we meet, of those around us.
Step 2: Respond. We have to take action; we have to respond to those needs. That response can be as simple as giving a listening ear. That response can be providing food to a needy neighbor, giving a ride to a person who does not have car, visiting the sick in a nursing home or hospital.
This week, make a conscious effort to “see” and “respond” to at least one person in need.