IN ONE OF THE TOWNS ALONG THE ROAD a doctor of the Law asked Jesus what he must do to be saved. Jesus answered with a question:
“What is written in the Law? How dost thou read?”
Quoting from the Scriptures, the lawyer answered: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole strength, and with thy whole mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.”
“Thou hast answered rightly; do this and thou shalt live.”
“And who is my neighbor?” asked the lawyer. And Jesus replied with this parable:
“A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell in with robbers, who after both stripping and beating him went their way, leaving him half-dead. But, as it happened, a certain priest was going down the same way; and when he saw him, he passed by. And likewise a Levite also, when he was near the place and saw him, passed by. But a certain Samaritan as he journeyed came upon him, and seeing him, was moved with compassion. And he went up to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. And setting him on his own beast, he brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more thou spendest, I, on my way back, will repay thee.'”
“Which of these three, in thy opinion, proved himself neighbor to him who fell among the robbers?”
“He who took pity on him,” he replied. And Jesus said:
“Go and do thou also in like manner.”
In a village near Jerusalem a woman named Martha invited Him to dine. While she was busy with the meal, her sister, Mary, sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to Him. Irked, Martha asked Jesus to bid Mary help her. But He said:
“Martha, Martha, thou art anxious and troubled about many things; and yet only one thing is needful. Mary has chosen the best part, and it will not be taken from her.”
Meditation: The learned lawyer asked a question. “Who is my neighbor?” He was prepared to discuss the point learnedly, to define and re-define terms, to quote authorities. But our Lord would have none of such academic discussion. In a simple and pointed story He informed the lawyer that his love should go out to anyone in trouble. The same simple prescription is meant for me also. If I am a follower of Christ, I must show my love and render unselfish service to anyone in trouble.
Information from The Life of Christ “Our Lord’s Life with Lesson in His Own Words for Our Life Today” The Catholic Press, Inc. 1959. 127-128. © 1954 edited by Reverend John P. O’Connell, MASTD and Jex Martin, following mainly A Chronological Harmony of the Gospels by Stephen J Hartdegen OFM NIHIL OBSTAT John A McMahon; IMPRIMATUR Samuel Cardinal Stritch, Archbishop of Chicago August 1, 1953. Print. Drawing by Albert H Winkler.