I have so many lists: grocery, bill payment, phone numbers and addresses. Do you have the kind of lists that I do? In today's Gospel a Samaritan traveler was coming down the road and found a victim of robbers lying on the side of the road. Did he have to check his list to see what he should do? No! He immediately bandaged his wounds and placed him on the donkey. It was very clear what he should do.
All of us here at Jesus Our Shepherd would have done the same by calling emergency help and reaching out to the person. We would not have needed to look at a list we were carrying to decide what to do.
In today's Gospel there is more than meets the eye. Are we willing to go out of our way for someone or some cause that may he different? Too many times opportunities to help others are riot so defined. I am always so pleased when JOS goes out of its way to help people. But is there more we can do? Do we engage in dialogue with others to promote peace, fairness, and peace? Do we mingle with people who are struggling with issues that deal with fairness? I was impressed with the police in Dallas. They were marching with the people in a protest march and talking with them before the terrible shooting began. It was the simple kind of actions and interactions that the Dallas police are known for.
Acknowledging that we have wounded people in our neighborhoods and our communities is the first step in reaching to help our sisters and brothers who feel that no one is listening to them. Reaching out to our legislators to tell them that we want change is one of the first things we can do to reach out to help people who need help. Perhaps we should also look inside of ourselves to see if we have prejudices that need to be addressed.
I would like to address another aspect of the Gospel story. Have you ever been down and out when someone has hurt you? I am sure that we can say, yes. Sometimes when we are huffing it can be difficult to ask for help or a helping hand. Silence is not a good response because it can make the hurting continue and we will not get better. If we do not chose to ask for help we are choosing to continue in pain and our quality of life is lessened. Also, by not asking others for help we are denying others the chance to reach out and help.
It might seem hard to offer help to someone because we might be afraid we might not have the right words to say. Sometimes we might be afraid that if someone does ask for help then we might really have to do something to help their situation; and that would take some effort on our part. In the story today there were two way motions. The person who was huffing did ask for help and the Samaritan did respond. This case was obvious. In order to help others we must first be ready to have our own needs met.
Reaching out to another is a two way street. There is a need and a response. Making others aware of our needs is a way we can feel better again and allow another person to feel good at the same time.
God loves the world so much that God sends good people to help others and to end suffering. Each day can be a day that can help relieve others burden and a day that seee more fully the needs of others.