Weekly Liturgy : July 4-10
The Good Samaritan
(Contemporary English Version)
25 A legal expert stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to gain eternal life?”
26 Jesus replied, “What is written in the Law? How do you interpret it?”
27 He responded, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.”
28 Jesus said to him, “You have answered correctly. Do this and you will live.”
29 But the legal expert wanted to prove that he was right, so he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
30-36 Jesus replied, “A man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. He encountered thieves, who stripped him naked, beat him up, and left him near death. Now it just so happened that a priest was also going down the same road. When he saw the injured man, he crossed over to the other side of the road and went on his way. Likewise, a Levite came by that spot, saw the injured man, and crossed over to the other side of the road and went on his way. A Samaritan, who was on a journey, came to where the man was. But when he saw him, he was moved with compassion. The Samaritan went to him and bandaged his wounds, tending them with oil and wine. Then he placed the wounded man on his own donkey, took him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day, he took two full days’ worth of wages and gave them to the innkeeper. He said, ‘Take care of him, and when I return, I will pay you back for any additional costs.’ What do you think? Which one of these three was a neighbor to the man who encountered thieves?” 37 Then the legal expert said, “The one who demonstrated mercy toward him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
If there is a Heaven Reality to experience, most of us want in. Who wouldn't!
Here's the problem: the world wants to believe that the fastest way to get to heaven is by identifying who is "out," so that we can focus our care and compassion toward those who are "in." (Have you ever noticed that those who are "in" are usually those who look like us, talk like us, believe like us, vote like us?)
But if Heaven is the context in which Us vs. Them disappears, Jesus knows the pathway there is a little counter-intuitive. Instead of asking, "who is my neighbor?" we have to start asking, "am I being a neighbor?"
If we can make that flip, we might discover ourselves in the Heaven community sooner than we expected.
Mr. Rogers gets it!
Outward Mindset Application Do something helpful for a co-worker that would relieve some pressure that they are feeling.
Pathways Toward Centeredness If the 4th of July is a holiday of gladness for you, enjoy it! If it is not, find something worth celebrating this week and throw a mini party in honor!
Questions for Consideration What is your favorite 4th of July (or summer) tradition? Who is someone from whom you have received unexpected care and compassion?