Weekend Reflections for 7/12/19
Two weeks ago my second cousin was carjacked, and badly wounded by his own car during the experience. Recently we have had a very sad spate of killings in St. Louis. Is there anything you or I can do to ameliorate these all-too-common issues?
"Who is my neighbor?'" is the question posed to Jesus in this Sunday's Gospel. Basically, Jesus' answer is "anyone in need." He then offers the story of the Good Samaritan to illustrate his point.
We should note that the unique thing about this model Samaritan in Jesus' story is that he is moved with compassion at the sight of the one beat up and laying alongside the road. Neither know each other, they don't belong to any friendship group, they don't share the same religious values or cultural mores. But nonetheless, assessing his plight, the Samaritan is moved with compassion at the sight of him. Note how the Samaritan shares the very view of God, who suffers to see the abuse that has occurred.
Can you and I also be moved with compassion at the frightening experience not only of my second cousin, but of the perpetrator of that crime, a 14-year-old girl of a different cultural background? How might the Lord want you and me to help succor the needs of those who aren't even asking for our help at the moment? How can we help raise up strong leaders among different cultural communities in this proud city of ours, sadly so racked with racism on many sides? Perhaps too can we help raise up strong political leaders to incentivize such local leadership?
Who is my neighbor? May I too be moved with compassion as I come to know this "other", both the one harmed and the one causing the harm, and succor the needs at hand.
-Fr. Anthony Wieck, SJ