27th Week in Ordinary Time (B) : Monday 4th October 2021

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St Francis of Assisi

27th Week in Ordinary Time (B) : Monday 4th October 2021

Jona 1:1—2:1,11; (R. Ps.) Jona 2:3,4,5,8;
Lk. 10:25-37 (Ps Wk III)

Once, a lawyer asked Jesus, “Master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” It was a question posed “to disconcert” (to make somebody feel anxious, confused or embarrassed) Jesus. In reply, Jesus asked him, “What is written in the Law? What do you read there?” The lawyer answered: “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself” (the lawyer understood from the Law,  Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18, that loving God means loving one’s neighbour as well). So, Jesus said to him, “do this, and life is yours”.

However, the lawyer continued by asking, “And who is my neighbour?” Why such a question? Did the lawyer think that some people could not be his neighbours?

Then Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan. A man was attacked by robbers. Upon seeing him, a priest and a Levite passed him by. Only a Samaritan (from a despised race — in Jewish society) had compassion on the man and went to his help. After telling this story, Jesus asked the lawyer, “Which of these three, do you think, proved himself a neighbour?” The lawyer replied, “The one who took pity on him.”

From the lawyer’s question, “Who is my neighbour?” Jesus turned it into, “Who am I a neighbour to?” In this pandemic, economic downturn and political turmoil, do we selectively choose who our neighbour is or become a neighbour to all in need, regardless of race, religion, social-economic class or political persuasion?

Lord, let us love one another as You love us.

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