This week the readings come from Deuteronomy 30:10-14, Psalm 69 or Psalm 19, Paul’s letter to the Colossians 1:15-20, and Luke’s Gospel 10:25-37.
The major story is this weekend is the Good Samaritan. It calls back to the first reading about obeying the law of the Lord. We have the question that still rings true today as a scholar of Jewish law asked Jesus who is his neighbor. The reply is complex as Jesus goes and tells a parable a man is stripped and beaten close to death, a priest comes to him and refuses to help then a Levite comes and does the same finally a Samaritan comes, now let’s remember that the Samaritans and Jews didn’t like each other very much, and helps the man bringing him to an inn and saying to the innkeeper that he will pay for whatever he spends beyond the two denarii the Samaritan will repay when he returns. Jesus then asks the scholar who is the neighbor and he says “the one who showed mercy.” Jesus tells him to do likewise. In this year of mercy let us all try to do likewise and show the mercy to our neighbors, and that includes everyone. As Susan Sontag said “10 percent of any population is cruel, no matter what, and 10 percent is merciful, no matter what, and the remaining 80 percent can be moved in either direction.” Let us all strive toward the merciful or as Mother Teresa said “Be kind and merciful. Let no one ever come to you without coming away better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness.”