The true love of neighbour is expressed in our relationship with one another.
A neighbour according to some dictionaries is that person we share a common neighbourhood with. Hence, our neighbour means the person who shares some common affiliation with us.
He is the person who is living close to us. In essence, he is someone that lives near or next door to us.
Through the parable of the Good Samaritan in today’s gospel, Jesus indicates that our neighbour goes beyond the above definition. In God, we are one.
So, our neighbour is not limited to the person living near us but goes beyond that to mean everyone we meet along the way.
In today’s reading, Jesus practically teaches us what it truly means to show true love to one another.
The Lawyer and Jesus .
Luke the evangelist writes that on one occasion a lawyer tries to put Jesus to test.
His true intention of doing this is not known. Some explain that he is trying to know if Jesus knows the law.
The lawyer questions Jesus on what one must do to inherit eternal life.
In our analysis, Jesus truly shows how to relate with anyone in this discussion.
We are certain that Jesus knows truly that the lawyer is trying to put Him to the test. By knowing what He has in mind, He would have reacted angrily. Or Jesus would have paid less attention to Him.
He would have bashed Him for trying to put Him to the test. But Jesus did not act the other way round but rather flows with the discussion as if nothing is happening.
Here, Jesus teaches us how to relate with others and how to relate with people who do not agree with us. We must not put them to fight.
In our relationship with others, we have to know that understanding and peace should be our watchword.
The True Love of Neighbour In the Parable
To explain the question of who is our neighbour, Jesus tells the parable of the Good Samaritan.
In this parable, let us critically analyse what it truly means to show true love.
In Jesus’ story, the man attacked by armed robbers was moving from Jerusalem to Jericho, which according to some commentators is approximately 17 miles.
This particular road is lonely, dangerous, and a den of thieves. This could still explain why others saw him and continued their journey without paying attention to save his life because they may be afraid because of how lonely the road is.
They could suspect that this could be a deception to trap them. So, they did not pay attention to them.
2. The Good Samaritan did not think of this, he focuses immediately to save the life of the other person.
The priest and the Levite who passed are so much interested in protecting themselves, but the Samaritan is interested in the other person.
Therefore, the true love of neighbour is in how we relate with other people. The true love of neighbour is when we show deep interest in the salvation and life of the other person.
The True love of neighbour is not selfish but selfless. It focuses more on saving lives than on personal acquisition.
The true love of neighbour is sharing, saving, and helping the people we come in contact with.
If our political leaders today truly love those they serve, they will focus all their attention on how to better their lives than personal possessions.
If every member of the family truly love each other, there will be peace, tolerance and understanding. This is the true love of neighbour.
Our neighbour is not only those living around us or people who share blood relationship with us. The true neighbour goes beyond this.
Who is Also Our Neighbour then?
1. Our neighbour is also that person we hate for no reason and suffering him/her for no just cause.
2. He/she is also that man or woman we are intimidating with our positions and fighting behind the scenes to pull him down.
3. Our neighbour is also that person that we have been praying for his downfall and death, sending Holy Ghost fire to burn him down. Our neighbour is also that man or woman we stand in between His progress and we have sworn that he will never see the light of the day because we hated him for no reason.
4. He/she is also that young boy or young girl, we have lied against or behind his/her back so that people will incriminate him/her. He or she is also that person we have lied against to prevent her from getting married.
5. Our neighbour is also that man or woman living beside us. We know quite well we are capable of helping him/her but have refused to let a little helping hand because we want Him to be worshipping us like a king.
6. Our neighbour is also that person we sent away from our houses and bashed on him/her because he/she asked us for a little assistance
7. He/she is also that person we blocked on our social media because he sent us a message, and we begin to think he/she is coming for our money.
He is also that person we have refused to reply to his message because we think he is not on our level yet. And probably we forget he might be seeking a little advice from us.
8. Our neighbour is also that person we envy his or her progress despite we have not for one day encouraged Him/her.
He is the person we maim and decimate at his/her back, projecting only a bad image of him which may not be true.
9. Our neighbour is that man or woman we have bluntly refused to forgive.
He is also the person we have spent our money going to court, seeking revenge other than making peace.
10. Our neighbour is also that person that we can never say any good thing about him/her despite he/she has not done anything to us.
He is the person we have been fighting against because he does not belong in the same political party, region and place as us.
Therefore, to show the true love of neighbour, we have to change the negative ways we relate to people.
The true love of neighbour is all-encompassing and without limitations. If we want to truly be like the Lord, love should lead in everything we do.
May God bless you dearest and give us the grace to love and cherish one another. May you encounter His Love in whatever you do. Amen