But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead.Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.’ Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
Words of Hope
Years ago when I first saw Mr. Rogers Neighborhood I was a cynical teenager. I saw Fred Rogers as sappy and juvenile. I didn’t understand then that his show was not meant for a 19 year old just starting college. Years later I took time to watch a couple of episodes since I ended up working for a while in children’s television.
It was then that I saw the genius of Fred Rogers. He related to children on their level, without talking down to them or trying to “entertain” them. He was there just to be their friend and help them understand the world that was changing around them. By doing that, he was truly their neighbor. Fred treated his audience with respect and love and gave them what they needed to thrive.
Sometimes our neighbor may not be the same as us, in their appearance, status or age, but they are all worthy of our love and respect and most of all they are worthy of our mercy.
May we show mercy to all our neighbors whether they live near us or just cross our paths. May we remember the grace given to us by God and pass that on to all we meet. Won’t you be my neighbor?