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Today’s Samaritan

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

“But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight.” (Luke 10:33)

The topic of my class was hospitality, which is a major value to Avera. The students were from a variety of religious backgrounds — all good young people. We first talked about their experiences of hospitality — at home, church and school. They could all relate to the feeling of being welcomed or not welcomed, and most had been taught by their parents to be especially nice to guests. 


I knew they would give their last cookie to the visiting neighbor kid, but this still seemed more like Emily Post than the Gospel. So I decided to use the Parable of the Good Samaritan to stretch their concept of neighborliness. I showed a video clip in which a man, after being mugged on the streets, is picked up and driven to the hospital emergency room by a “biker dude” in leather. The emergency room receptionist was ready to call security, but biker dude took a wad out of his billfold and left. 


The students recognized the Parable of the Good Samaritan, and that the “biker dude” was a true neighbor and we should be like him. But Emma — who had not been exposed to Bible stories when she was young — saw something else in the story, something fresh, something challenging: that, unlike the emergency room receptionist, we could recognize that “biker dudes,” and all those who are different from us, just might be the people who can rescue us. Help can come from where we least expect it and good hearts might be disguised in clothing that surprises or frightens us.


To view this video parable, go to You Tube (at home, please) and enter “And Who Is My Neighbor - Henrique Da Silva.”  


Loving God,

You created people of all races, nationalities and personalities.

We praise You for the diversity of the human family.

May we learn from one another, and may we serve one another and accept Your gifts from those who are different from us.

We pray this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Sr. Mary Jo Polak, OSB
Public Relations, Sacred Heart Monastery

DEUTERONOMY 30:10-14 ● PSALM 69:14, 17, 30-31, 33-34, 36, 37 OR PSALM 19:8, 9, 10, 11 ● COLOSSIANS 1:15-20 ● LUKE 10:25-37

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