This is a guest post by Fr. Eric Werts.
This question led to the parable of the Good Samaritan. In this parable a member of a hated people is the one who shows kindness. It is a profound challenge to us, especially in this world of global interaction and much conflict. It is good for us to ask ourselves who the Samaritans are in our minds and hearts. When we have identified these people, we then ask ourselves whether or not our attitude toward these people matches that of Jesus.
There is a relationship between the parable of the Good Samaritan and the parable of the Prodigal Son. The older son evaluates himself as good and righteous. He thinks that the younger son is a sinner and does not deserve the kind, forgiving treatment that he receives from the father. Who are the sinners in your life who do not deserve forgiveness? Imagine Jesus talking to each of these people. Would your behavior toward these sinners match his?
Your foundation for this reflection is your evaluation of yourself. Are you righteous or forgiven? Place yourself in the presence of God and ask for help in answering this question. Then ask yourself again, “Who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:29)