By Jim Orcutt, Co-Founder of My Brother's Keeper

These personal reflections on the Monday gospel represent my insight of Christ’s message as viewed through the lens of my life experience. It is my hope that others will be inspired to reflect upon their views as well.
Date: October 7, 2019
October 7, 2019

Gospel LK 10:25-37

There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test Jesus and said,
“Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law?
How do you read it?”
He said in reply,
“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.”
He replied to him, “You have answered correctly;
do this and you will live.”

But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus,
“And who is my neighbor?”
Jesus replied,
“A man fell victim to robbers
as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho.
They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead.
A priest happened to be going down that road,
but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
Likewise a Levite came to the place,
and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him
was moved with compassion at the sight.
He approached the victim,
poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them.
Then he lifted him up on his own animal,
took him to an inn, and cared for him.
The next day he took out two silver coins
and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction,
‘Take care of him.
If you spend more than what I have given you,
I shall repay you on my way back.’
Which of these three, in your opinion,
was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?”
He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.”
Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

Reflection

There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test Jesus and said, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

The scholar in today’s gospel reminds me of Alvin, a boy in my fifth grade class at the Shaw School. He was always trying to show how smart he was by trying to prove the teacher wrong.

Clearly, the scholar’s motive was not sincere for we’re told that he “stood up to test Jesus.”

Sensing the scholar’s insincerity, Jesus answers with a question of His own, “What is written in the law? How do you read it?”

One can almost feel the scholar’s pride as, without hesitation, he immediately gives the correct answer.

He said in reply,
“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.”

Jesus replied to him, “You have answered correctly;
do this and you will live.”

But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus,
“And who is my neighbor?”

To “justify” oneself is to feel a need to prove oneself right.

Jesus must have seen this young man as someone who had studied scripture but who’s pride was a stumbling block; someone who knew the letter of the law, but not the law of love and mercy.

So Jesus told him a story about what is in the hearts of men to demonstrate how “the law” should be applied.

Jesus replied,
“A man fell victim to robbers
as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho.
They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead.
A priest happened to be going down that road,
but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
Likewise a Levite came to the place,
and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him
was moved with compassion at the sight.
He approached the victim,
poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them.
Then he lifted him up on his own animal,
took him to an inn, and cared for him.
The next day he took out two silver coins
and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction,
‘Take care of him.
If you spend more than what I have given you,
I shall repay you on my way back.’

To love our neighbor as ourself is to be selfless, to put others before self, and to sacrifice our own time, comfort and treasure for the sake of someone else.

It is in this way that we demonstrate our love for God.

Just as every parent’s fondest hope is that their children will love and care for their sisters and brothers, we too show our love for our Father in heaven by sacrificing for the sake of our brothers and sisters, His children in need.

Jesus asked, “Which of these three, in your opinion,
was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?”

He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.”

Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”  Matthew 5:7



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