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Doctrines & Morals

Who is my neighbour?

Gal. 1:6-12, Lk. 10:25-37. In today's first reading, Paul reminds the Galatians that he has to be faithful to the Gospel as revealed by Jesus Christ. Others may come and preach a different “Gospel,” but they probably do it for some reasons other than doing the will of God. Paul emphatically reasserts the authenticity and uniqueness of the true Gospel of Christ Jesus crucified and risen. Paul goes so far as to say that even if he started to preach a different message, he should be condemned. Obviously, Paul believed in only one faith and willing to hold true to the faith even if people will not like his position. Paul desires to please God who sent him as the proclaimer of the Good News to the Gentiles. The desire to please God also inspires the teacher of the law to ask Jesus: “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” In today's Gospel, Jesus replies with His famous parable of the good Samaritan. This was something totally new, since the Samaritans were despised and rejected by the Jews as heretics and betrayers.

Jesus says it is more important to act like a helpful neighbour to others than to be drawing distinctions between “my neighbour” and “who may I hate or ignore?” Part of the way to inherit eternal life is to “be a good neighbour to everyone.” If we want to know what it means to be a neighbour, let us think about the Samaritan’s helpful spirit. The Priest and Levite refrain from helping their bleeding kinsman because they would become “impure” by touching him and would not be able to perform religious rites. Jesus demonstrates that the Samaritan who is a religious and political enemy of the Jews, looks beyond religious boundaries and sees a fellow child of God suffering, in need of help and became a good neighbour to him. This kind of practical compassion guided the whole ministry of Jesus and should be the our mission in life.

May the Lord be with us and everyone we meet this week and help us to build a just and peaceful society! Amen!! Remain safe and have a productive week!!!

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