In calling us to ever higher standards of ethics and virtue, Jesus drops as much as a cultural no-no on his sister and brother Jews of his time: be a neighbor and go above and beyond to a person of an enemy culture. If we aspire to follow him in truth, we must attend to the example of his story.
81. Jesus asks us to be present to those in need of help, regardless of whether or not they belong to our social group. In this case, the Samaritan became a neighbor to the wounded Judean. By approaching and making himself present, he crossed all cultural and historical barriers. Jesus concludes the parable by saying: “Go and do likewise” (Lk 10:37). In other words, he challenges us to put aside all differences and, in the face of suffering, to draw near to others with no questions asked. I should no longer say that I have neighbors to help, but that I must myself be a neighbor to others.
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