Monday, October 5, 2015

Do you love only those who are good to you, or do you also love those who hurt and harm you? - Daily Reflections October 5,2015

Today, the road from Jerusalem to Jericho is a well-asphalted road where  cars and buses speed down to probably the oldest constantly occupied city in the world, 258 meters below sea level. Once, I traveled the ancient dirt road, which leads to the Judean wilderness — no car, no people, just some goats and a camel or two, here and there. To be honest, it was a bit scary to travel there and I could imagine how travelers in ancient times on this lonely desert road “fell victim to robbers.”
       The well-known parable of the Good Samaritan is a beautiful illustration of Christ’s commandment to love one’s neighbor, even one’s enemy. It is a difficult commandment to follow because we all know how hard it is to love an enemy. But for the first listeners, this parable must have been shocking. Why?
       The religious leaders, the priest and the Levite pass by the poor man and don’t help at all. But it is a Samaritan, so hated and despised by the Jews, whom Jesus puts as model before them. And how he helps! He stops, puts himself in danger of also being attacked by the robbers, applies wine for disinfection and oil for healing of the wounds. He brings the injured man to an inn and pays quite a big amount, seeing to it that the innkeeper wil take care of the man until he has fully recovered. For the Jews, he was a “heretic,” but he made the love of God visible. No wonder, Pope Francis shocked many in the first months of his papacy when he said that God’s mercy and love is limitless and that even atheists have the chance to be saved.
       At the Last Judgment, God will not ask us about how much money we have in our bank accounts or how many houses and cars we have. His only question will be: How much have you loved?
       St. Augustine wrote: “Once for all, then, a short precept is given you: Love, and do what you will.” Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD
REFLECTION QUESTION: Do you love only those who are good to you, or do you also love those who hurt and harm you?
Lord, You have given us the perfect example of how it is to love. You died for me, a sinner.
Thank You, Lord, and let me never forget this truth.

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