Growing up on a farm in southern Saskatchewan, we all knew who our neighbours were, and we knew how many kids there were, how many cows, horses, hogs and cattle and chickens they had, and what kind of tractors, cars and trucks they had. And we were always ready to help one another with work, with meals, with sympathy in times of loss. We also got together for sports and parties and general socializing. Our doors were always unlocked; visitors were always welcome.
Nowadays, we live in condos, apartments or private homes, and sometimes it is years before we establish contact with our next door neighbour. We have a tendency to live in isolation from one another and to see the needy as a class of people to be assisted by social services.
Jesus gives us a different perspective. Our neighbour is anyone who needs help. She or he may be from a different culture, race, language or religion. Jesus’ example may seem a bit extreme, but it is a pure expression of the gospel that in this case is brought by a Samaritan to a stranger in need.
Gracious God, help us to see others through the eyes of Jesus. Amen. — RN