Who Is My Neighbor?

he_qi_good_samaritanAll communities, clubs, organizations, families have “bylaws.” These bylaws are not ends in themselves, however, but means for helping the group achieve its purpose. The same is true for God’s laws.
Jesus makes explicit what is the purpose of the law and it seems so simple: to love God and neighbor. Yet the kind of love Jesus describes through the parable of the Good Samaritan is anything simple. It requires of us the unconditional gift of self.
What Jesus does make simple is that love of neighbor is practical, concrete, readily identifiable. Jesus challenges us to see and respond to the hurt and bleeding persons lying beside the road of our own daily life. We walk past people in need sometimes because we are too busy, sometimes because we are too intent on where we are going or sometimes because we are too afraid to get involved. The law of love teaches us to “love …with all…with all…with all…” The law of love challenges us constantly to reevaluate our priorities and discern where we need to grow in the unconditional gift of self.