Homily Fifteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time Cycle C July 14, 2019
In the Gospel we just heard Jesus gets a question: “Who is my neighbor?” That seem like a simple and straight-forward question. But in the hands of Jesus, it becomes expanded, and certainly more challenging.
Because who is your neighbor determines what your ethical responsibility to them should be. Anyone who is your neighbor you should treat, well, neighborly.
So what do you say? Who is my neighbor? Who is your neighbor? Is everyone here in church today your neighbor? YES! That was pretty easy and simple.
How about those Baptists praying up the street at the University Baptist Church? Are they our neighbors? YES.
Well, how about the Jews across from our gym at Hillel, and the Moslems at the Nueces Street Mosque? Are they our neighbors? Yes indeed!
Well, certainly those Vatican I Latin Catholics at the Cathedral, they are not our neighbors, are they? Oh yes they are!
What about the street people out on Guadalupe Street, or those down at the ARCH, or those locked up at Del Valle Travis County Jail? Are they our neighbors? Yes.
What about the children and the immigrant refugees locked up in Clinton, TX, and in El Paso, Brownsville, McAllen, and all along the border? Are they also our neighbors? You bet!
Jesus answers the question of who is my neighbor NOT by listing categories of people. Such categories mean little to Him.
Jesus answers the question of “Who is my neighbor?” instead by speaking of compassion and service. Jesus tells us our neighbor is everyone who needs compassion and service. EVERYONE who needs compassion and service.
Then Jesus challenges and commands us: “Go and do likewise.”
Now we just have to go and do it. AMEN