Today's Reading: Luke 10:23-37
"Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?" He said, "The one who showed him mercy." And Jesus said to him, "You go, and do likewise." (Luke 10:36-37)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Who is my neighbor? Would we ever be so bold as to claim that there is not a person out there who is not our neighbor? Yet, most times we find ourselves settling into the most comfortable scenarios. In other words, my neighbor is the closest person like me or the person whom I like the most.
But that, to put it simply, is not God's Word. It is contrary to God's Word. It is even repulsive to the command of God to love one another even as Christ loves the Church. Christ doesn't command us to love only others with whom we sit at the lunch table at school. Rather He calls us to love everyone--even the one on the side of the road who has been beaten and robbed.
But when Christ tells us to "go and do likewise" we are faced with our limitations as sinful humans! We are faced with our absolute need for grace and forgiveness! We are broken by God's Law. But then, when all seems lost, Christ proves to be our true neighbor! It is Christ who, through the cross, binds our wounds and feeds us with His Body and Blood and awakens us each day in our Baptism. Christ proves to be our neighbor time after time by His forgiving and renewing of a right spirit within us. We are loving our neighbors when we point them to the Word and the Sacraments, that they may find rest in the forgiveness of Christ. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Almighty and everlasting God, give us an increase of faith, hope, and charity; and that we may obtain what you have promised, make us love what you have commanded; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Ghost, one God, now and forever. Amen. (Collect for Trinity 13)