So Far Away
The song “So Far Away” by Carol King came to mind. In the gospel, a lawyer asked Jesus the question, “who is my neighbor.” Jesus responds that we are to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and our neighbor as ourselves. The two go together because God is present in everyone, good and bad alike.
The question he asked Jesus is not so innocent. He wanted to justify himself, so he asked who is he obligated to love. Jesus tells him the story of the good Samaritan, who took care of an outsider, someone beat up on the road and left for dead by robbers.
The gospel challenge: Jesus tackles the question, “who is my neighbor” differently. He tells a story about a priest, a Levite who passed by the outsider left for dead. The man didn’t deserve their mercy. The Samaritan, an outsider from the Jews, shows the man mercy. He bandaged his wounds, took him to a motel, and paid for all his expenses. This man risked his life to show mercy. That is how vital compassion is to Jesus. He risked losing His life and all he owned for mercy. Take a hard look at who needs your mercy. Go all out for folks we always “pass by.” Jesus won’t be “So Far Away.”
IGNITE THE FIRE.God bless you, my friends.
Fr. Rick Pilger, I.C.