I once celebrated Mass in the middle of two residential condominium buildings: on my right was clean and orderly and the one my left was dirty and in disarray. Why the big difference? The one to my right followed the rules of the condominium and thus it was clean and orderly. The one on my left decided not to follow the rules and did whatever they wanted to do, hence dirty and disarray.
In the Gospel, Jesus answered the question: “Who is my neighbor.” Jesus gave a story of a man who was robbed. He was not helped by a priest, he was not helped by a Levite, he was ironically helped by a Samaritan, the rival of the Jews.
Hence in our everyday life, we ask ourselves, “Who is our neighbor?”
- He or she may be the one who is in need as a result of the difficult surprises of life. Certainly, there is that voice in our heart the encourages us to help. But yes, how many times that like the priest and the Levite decided to pass by the opposite side.
- He or she may be the one we do not know, or even different from us, or even someone we do not like. But despite of that, all our lives are intertwined.
- He or she may be the one we will have to give our time, talent and treasure, despite not being sure how we are going to benefit. God sees everything and he teaches that the key to eternal life is what we do to the least of our brethren.
That is why in every Mass may we always remember that people need people. The biggest problem in the world is that people do not care anymore. There is so apathy and indifference. We all want a better place to live in and it starts by being a neighbor.