Who is My Neighbor?
Malvern Minute


October 9, 2017- Monday of the Twenty-Seventh Week in Ordinary Time
Saint Denis, Bishop, and Companions

Mark J. Poletunow, Malvern President (mpoletunow@malvernretreat.com)

Click for: Readings for the day (From the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops)

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (10:25-37)

There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test Jesus and said,
“Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law?
How do you read it?”
He said in reply,
“You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your being,
with all your strength,
and with all your mind,
and your neighbor as yourself.”
He replied to him, “You have answered correctly;
do this and you will live.”

But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus,
“And who is my neighbor?”
Jesus replied,
“A man fell victim to robbers
as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho.
They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead.
A priest happened to be going down that road,
but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
Likewise a Levite came to the place,
and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him
was moved with compassion at the sight.
He approached the victim,
poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them.
Then he lifted him up on his own animal,
took him to an inn, and cared for him.
The next day he took out two silver coins
and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction,
‘Take care of him.
If you spend more than what I have given you,
I shall repay you on my way back.’
Which of these three, in your opinion,
was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?”
He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.”
Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”


Reflect: And who is my neighbor? The Gospel story of the Good Samaritan is one that most of us have heard repeatedly from our youth. Rather than write it off as something that we already know, today the Lord is asking us to pay attention with new eyes and ears. Sometimes, like the scholar of the law who was speaking to Jesus, we know the right answers; but Jesus wants to challenge us to go beyond head knowledge. He wants us to pause and ask ourselves whether we are putting into practice a genuine love of God and neighbor. Perhaps, the measure of how much we love God is based on how much we love our neighbor.  There are tons of opportunities for us to love people in our day to day lives; especially the ones who try our patience and seem to view life through a different lens. Then, there are countless opportunities for us to reach out to folks who we might not know personally, but who are devastated by natural disasters, violent acts, and any type of injustice and ridicule. In the Gospel today, who was neighbor to the robbers’ victim? “‘The one who treated him with mercy.’ Jesus said to him, ‘God and do likewise.’

Questions: Am I a disciple of mercy to all people? Who or what group of people might I be excluding from showing mercy? In what ways do I need to grow beyond head knowledge to putting my faith into practice?

Pray: Loving God, help me to love you with all my heart, with all my being, with all my strength, with all my mind, and my neighbor as myself.  I pray this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.

Saint Denis and Companions: Pray for us!

A hill outside of Paris is supposed to have been a worship site for ancient pagan Druids. Tradition relates that when Denis, the fist bishop of Paris, and his two companions, the priest Eleutherius, and the deacon Rusticus, arrived in the Roman territory of Gaul in the 3rd century, they preached to these pagans. Their enthusiasm for the Gospel won many hearts, but also drew the anger of the Druid priests. In 258, the three missionaries gave their lives for the Faith on the hill that became known as Montmartre or “the mount of the martyrs.” Denis is patron of Paris and of France.



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