F1. Moses refers to commandments in this reading. What do you think inspired these? Are they hard to understand?
F2. Where do we find God’s commandment? According to Jesus it consists of this: love God and love your neighbor. Do you find yourself relying on codes and guidelines more than on the underlying commandment?
S1. He was “Christ Jesus, the one who is before all things, the firstborn of all creation.”With whom did he spend time? With whom do you want to spend time? Do you make an effort to give your time to God and the people you love or are you always in a hurry to do more important things?
S2. This reading says that Christ reconciled all things, making peace by the blood of his cross. In the Gospel’s story of the Good Samaritan, what are the things that need reconciling? What still needs reconciling in the besieged environment today? In the arena of human rights? Will you be a passerby or will you share in the work of creation, redemption and renewal?
G1. Think of the Good Samaritan story in terms of today’s world. What groups need the Samaritan? The trafficked? The immigrants? Gun control groups? The homeless? the hungry? Whether it is large or small, is there anything you can do to help any of these?
G2. At one of his General Audiences Pope Francis reflected on the Good Samaritan. Which man is the neighbor, the one in need or the one showing compassion to the one in need?
Love, the Lord tells us, is never abstract or distant; it “sees” and it responds. The compassion shown by the Samaritan is an image of the infinite mercy of God, who always sees our needs and draws near to us in love. The command to love God and neighbor, then, is supremely practical; it entails caring for others even to the point of personal sacrifice.
By the end of the parable, we see that the “neighbor” is not so much the man in need, but rather the one who responded to that need with compassion. Jesus tells all of us to be neighbors in this sense: “Go and do likewise.” He himself is the model of the Good Samaritan; by imitating his love and compassion, we show ourselves truly to be his followers.
Pope Francis: A True Christian Must be Like a Lamb
February 17, 2014
**From Saint Louis University