Reflection on the Gospel of the Fifteenth Sunday
In Ordinary Time
Who is thy neighbour?
We just need to attentively observe and hear the world around us – we immediately recognize that most of it is brokenness. How do we keep moving forward in the midst of brokenness within ourselves and the world we live in? Jesus answers the question of a self-righteous scholar of the law with the most iconic parable of all time. The jews considered just another jew as their neighbour. The Samaritan was almost like an alien who deserved no such neighbourly acknowledgement. Blinded by prejudice and ego we fragment our community in pieces. The irony is that we are not meant to be islands but yet we think just about ourselves and our needs. We forget to get involved and contribute for the benefit of all. The Good Samaritan takes a risk in taking care of the injured Jewish man. Considering the history of mistrust between these two communities – He doesn’t just attempt to heal physical injuries but also the emotional injuries that plague this mistrust. So, does being a goody two shoes social worker answer the question?
Cries for social justice, egalitarianism, secular values, rights are placed in a fragile uneasy balance of legal judiciary and constitutional guidelines. It means absolutely nothing if the prejudiced egoistic heart isn’t willing to reform. The real mystery of our world is not that evil exists; that people are capable of so much inhumanity. It is that goodness is never exhausted. There is always ‘a heart that has eyes’ and hand that wants to hold ours until we are ready to walk again – Jesus.
The parable of the Good Samaritan shows us that our society, our communities and relationships are not permanently broken. We can restore them through the heart of Jesus. Are we ready to partner with him in his mission of restoring lives instead of building barriers.