Call and response

Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary

Jonah 1:1-2:2, 11; Luke 10:25-37

There is an old saying that: “You can run but you cannot hide.”  Jonah found that out the difficult way.  He was called by God to be a prophet, and he tried to escape his call.  But he could not escape God.

The good Samaritan also received a call to be a prophet.  But his call was not to be a prophet of doom.  It was to be a prophet of compassion.

The priest and the Levite in Jesus’ parable avoided the man who had been robbed and left for dead.  The Torah told them that touching the body of a dead person would make them ritually unclean.  So they stayed away.  In their case, the call of the law was stronger than the call of compassion.

Samaritans were considered religious and ethnic outsiders by the orthodox Jews of Jesus’ day.  Yet the Samaritan in this gospel passage didn’t ask the nationality of the man that he helped.  He didn’t ask his religious affiliation or political views.  He simply showed him compassion, which fulfilled the greatest commandment, the law of love.

The scholar of the law wanted to know the identity of the neighbor he was required to love as himself.  The Samaritan in the parable understood immediately that what defined his neighbor was not his ethnicity, religion or nationality but rather his humanity.

In a world that is suffering from many kinds of violence and division, God is calling us to be prophets of love.  We can run but we cannot hide.  The voice of God, like the eyes of God, is with us wherever we are.  May we answer his call.