Today we have a familiar gospel story and a challenge. I am sure we have heard the story of the Good Samaritan. The challenge is whether or not be put this into any kind of practice. What I mean is, is it the case that when we see someone in need, that requires something of us, we reach out to do whatever we can, and even more?
I think this is what Paul means when he expresses surprise the people who it so recently accepted the way of life of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and were so quickly abandoning it for other beliefs.
What we learned today, from the Gospel we have heard so often, is the very core of the gospel to Paul preached. Namely, when we put this together, the heart of the Christian life is centered upon love. Firstly of course, it is centered upon the love that God has always had for us, even from before the first moment of our creation. But the the love of God requires a response. The love is primary, we are called not only to love God with everything we have, but a lot of our neighbor as ourselves.
Hearing these words in a story that is so wonderful and beautiful and has such a happy ending is one thing. Putting these words into practice, when we are confronted with those that we made that wish to associate with, require some type of Christian service, it’s quite another thing altogether.
For example, what is our attitude toward the homeless? How do we feel about those who receive welfare? Do we find ourselves judgmental with those who do not share our own beliefs, thinking them unreasonable and arrogant?
These are the challenges the story of the Good Samaritan presents to each one of us. Loving our neighbor as ourselves is not simply reserved to those who are easy to love. Perhaps most especially our love for neighbor and the connection it has to our love for God is truly made real when we are able to reach out to love those that are not so easy to love.
I bet you have those people in your life too. I know I do. Those people that require a decisive action to love Because sometimes we confuse affection, with the actions of love. We are to seek to achieve the mind of Jesus, and we must pray for the grace to be open to the way of life Jesus came to invite us to llve. We are also reminded, that if we are to receive this love of God authentically, we must also accept the invitation to love as God loves.