Fifteenth Week of Ordinary Time

A lawyer stood before Jesus to put him to the test and said,
“Teacher, what must I do to inherit everlasting life?”

Jesus answered,
“What is written in the Law? How do you read it?”

The expert on the Law replied:
“You must love the Most High God
with all your heart,
with all your soul,
with all your strength
and with all your mind,
and your neighbor as yourself.”

Jesus said,
“You have answered correctly. Do this and you’ll live.

But the lawyer, seeking self-justification, pressed Jesus further:
“And just who is my neighbor?” Jesus gave an example of two people, both of whom walked by a bruised and bloodied man lying by the side of the road. It was the third man, a man from Samaria who stopped to help the injured man.

If Jesus were answering this question today, I imagine him using this example.
A doctor was a spectator at the Fourth of July parade in Highland Park Illinois.
As the people were running away from the shooting, he ran into the chaos to help triage the wounded people. He administered CPR to an 8 year old, saving his life.

A man, running with his toddler in his arms, thrust his child into the arms of a stranger and said “Will you take care of my son? His mother has been shot and I have to go and help her.” The woman took the child, exchanged phone numbers with the dad, and watched over that child as if he were her own. The mother survived her injuries and the three of them were reunited.

A wandering, terrified toddler had become separated from his family. A woman picked him up, took him home and called the police to report that she had the child. They went to her house to pick him up and were eventually able to reunite him with his parents.

And the story of the other toddler, whose father died on top of him as he was shielding him from the bullets, is now with his extended family. A Go fund me page has been started and has over 2.5 million dollars from people all over the world.

Who were neighbors that day in Highland Park Illinois? One would not have needed to ask those who helped the wounded, watched out for the young, helped shelter and console people, the police, or the medical personnel. They instinctively knew. Their neighbors were whoever needed their help.

So when we are met with the next shooting- and there will be another shooting as long as legislators do nothing to stop the killing- let us help each other remember to keep our focus on these words of Jesus:
You must love the Most High God
with all your heart,
with all your soul,
with all your strength,
and with all your mind,
and your neighbor as yourself.”
Let us remember what Moses told his people: “The word of God is very near to you; it is in your mouth, and in your heart, so that you can keep it.

We’ve got everything we need. We’ve got God. We’ve got each other. We are gonna be ok. Amen!