Go and Do Likewise
The Gospel reading this week is Lk. 10:25–37 or “The Parable of the Good Samaritan.” Wherever we gather for worship on Sunday morning, I hope we can talk about #AltonSterling, grieve faithfully, pray, and let the prophets expose our great communal Sin: that we have not loved our neighbor enough to fix our systems stacked against the black man, the Samaritan, the oppressed.
Let this reading sit in our minds and hearts this week. Can we see ourselves in the holy men who passed by the beaten, stripped, and half-dead man? Can we see ourselves in the “expert in the law” who always needs to justifies himself and his motives? And for once can we admit that maybe we aren’t the good guy in the story?
Christ, have mercy.
Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? What do you read there?”
He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.”
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.”