Jesus comes as the Good Samaritan, with His anointing of the Holy Spirit and the wine of His Presence in the Eucharist, to take us to the inn of the Church for new life.
He, like the Samaritan, pays our debt and promises to come back to us.
Our Loving Neighbor now makes it possible us to be loving neighbors, too.
It might help us to know an Old Testament story about how some Samaritans, whom the Jews hated as half-breed foreigners and corrupters of true religion, once (hundreds of years earlier) showed great mercy to people from Judah captured in battle.
The soldiers wanted to make everyone who survived the battle their slaves, but several Samaritan “princes” protested this brutality.
We have proof: eight couples who got hitched to the boy or girl next door — in their New York City apartment building.
In 1989, when Sharon Gitelle moved to a West 91st Street rental with her husband and infant daughter, she didn’t pay much attention to the rock star upstairs — Jay Jay French of the band Twisted Sister.
The commandment to love our neighbor simply puts light on the path to this happiness. Paul, in what he writes about Jesus as the “image of the invisible God,” sheds some light on why the scholar’s second question in our Gospel took him in a direction away from eternal life.
He wanted to know who was included on the list of neighbors to be loved, which also means who could be left off. Paul describes the dynamic of Divine Love that always, always seeks to unite, even enemies (as it did in the parable).
In Sunday’s readings, a scholar approaches Jesus to test Him with a legal question; Jesus answers with a question Himself. We can assume his question has some element of hostility in it, because Jesus answered it by asking another question, His frequent response to a trap (see Mt -22): “What is written in the Law? ” The quiz of Jesus now turns into a quiz of the scholar.
It begins with the approach of a “scholar of the Law,” a man who was an expert in explaining the details of the Mosaic Law. ” By this time in His public ministry, Jesus had created an enormous buzz. ” (see Lk 9:7-9) Perhaps the scholar was suspicious that Jesus was a charlatan, attracting large crowds out of a large ego.
’” With this additional question, we find out much more about the scholar. Did he ask the first question out of a desire to expose Jesus in some kind of infraction of the Law?
Did he have misgivings that an itinerant preacher with such a huge following of ordinary folk could be qualified to be a teacher in Israel?
Jesus, in His Body, came to “reconcile all things,” because “all things were created through Him and for Him.” When we contemplate this, our minds begin to touch on truly mysterious heavenly truths. Thomas the Apostle parish in Phoenix and has been writing and leading parish Bible studies since 1996.