Thought for the Day from Katharine Salmon from St Chad’s:
How might I, today, engage again with a very well-known parable? I have printed the passage for today below, with some suggestions for reflective reading and action. Lectio Divina, or reflective reading, means we read the passage slowly and see where God stops us and speaks to us.
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 neighbour 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 neighbour?’ 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 travelling 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 neighbour 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.’
Who is my neighbour today?
Some thoughts on today’s scripture:
- I read the parable slowly, as I look at the needs I see around me, both near and far. In my family, in my neighbourhood, in my country, in the world. I too ask Jesus, who is my neighbour, and listen as he replies.
- In our times, we seem to be very good at finding reasons to speak less and less of solidarity and more and more of ourselves and our needs. The parable of the good Samaritan sounds as relevant today as it was in the times of Jesus. It does not allow us to find justification in our rationalisations, but tells us, ‘Go and do the same yourself’.
- How do we personally show solidarity with those who really need a neighbour at the moment?
- Can we pray for those neighbours we find difficult?