WHO IS MY NEIGHBOR?

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The famous parable of the Good Samaritan is told by Jesus in response to
the question, “Who is my neighbor?” This scholar in the Jewish law was asking
whom the law to love one’s neighbor as oneself obligated him to love. The
standard response at the time would have indicated one’s neighbor to be a fellow
Jew. The astonishing thing about Jesus’ response is, first of all, that he teaches
how to be a neighbor, how to love. Even more astounding is the fact that the
model neighbor in the parable is a Samaritan—someone few Jews would have
considered good because of animosity that went back over five centuries. The
Samaritan, moved with compassion for a man in distress, puts aside the
animosity and responds with exemplary generosity, not only attending to the
man’s wounds and paying for his lodging, but offering to cover any further
expenses on his way back. Love, not obligation, was his motive; so it must be
ours.

When Moses taught the people about God’s law, as we hear in today’s First
Reading, he said that it is not “too mysterious and remote”; rather “it is something
very near to you, already in your mouths and in your hearts; you have only to
carry it out.” This is why the “Good Samaritan” responded as he did. He did
what was already in his heart as one human being recognizing the need of
another. This is because it is the law of the Creator of human nature, who
created us in his image and likeness (cf. Genesis 1:26) and who is love (cf. 1
John 4:8). As God’s love became incarnate in the person of Jesus Christ, who
laid down his life for us, so we are called to enflesh the same unselfish love in
our concern for one another (cf. 1 John 3:16). “If someone who has worldly
means sees a brother in need and refuses him compassion, how can the love of
God remain in him? Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and
truth.” (1 John 3:17-18)

Thanks to all who contributed to the Diocesan Annual Appeal in the final
days of the fiscal year. As a result we surpassed our target in both parishes.
The amount given beyond the target will come back to each parish as a rebate.

At St. Charles this weekend we have our second commitment weekend of
our capital campaign for a parish center and paved parking lot. It is so important
that all parishioners take ownership of our parish by supporting our parish to
whatever extent possible. The same is true at St. Peter and next week’s Shin-
Dig and the support it provides for St. Peter’s School. Thanks to all who support
our parishes in both ordinary and extraordinary ways.

Dr. Mary Kuehl recently visited the Basilica of Saints Ambrose and Charles in
Rome, where she prayed before the relic of the heart of St. Charles Borromeo for
St. Charles Parish and the success of the capital campaign. There’s nothing like
going to the heart of the matter—literally. St. Charles Borromeo, pray for us!
Please continue to pray the rosary for good weather and the conditions
needed for so much farm work to be done. Pray for those in our country who
have been affected by earthquakes, wildfires, tornadoes or floods and, as
always, pray for peace.

May God bless his people with peace.

Monsignor Gorman