You are called to be the Good Samaritan

I received a lot of hate this past week because I chose not to celebrate the 4th of July. I did this after much prayer and reflection. It was meant to send a message that I cannot celebrate the independence and freedom in our nation until we are all free and independent. And in this Sunday’s Gospel reading Jesus speaks to this mindset.

The reading is about the Good Samaritan and the very important question by the young man of “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus’ reply goes to the very heart of the Gospel. Everyone we meet is our neighbor and we are to treat them with love and respect. Not only that, but we must be willing to put ourselves out, put our own happiness and well-being on the line to help others. This was the story of the Samaritan. He did not care that the robbers who had beat, stripped, and robbed the man on the road to Jerusalem might still be around and waiting to do the same to him. No, he only cared that someone was in need of help and assistance.

He took this man to the inn and paid for his care. He put himself in physical danger and financial risk to help someone who likely hated him for who he was. Samaritans were viewed as less than Jewish people. They were second class citizens. Yet, he stopped to help this Jewish man and to make sure he was cared for.

The priest, however, walked past on the opposite side of the road. And a Levite also passed on the opposite side of the road. His own people ignored his needs.

How often do we ignore the needs of others in our lives? How often do we ignore their cries for help or their cries of pain? I cannot ignore them. And I will not ignore them.

We are called to stand up for those who are marginalized in our society. Jesus calls us to be the Good Samaritan. Part of being that Good Samaritan is to help those who are hurting and damaged by others in our society. Women, LGBTQIA+ individuals and people of color continue to be a target of our government and our elected officials. The homeless also continue to be routinely ignored or attacked by those in power. We are followers of Christ must be willing to stand up and make our voices heard in support of those most in need of our support.

I call on you to make your voices heard. March, rally, call, write letters, but most of all, demand change in our society so that all may be equal!

God bless and keep fighting!

Bishop Greg