Our pastor is enjoying his summer vacation in France. Today’s pastor notes are provided by Fr. George:
Loving is not too tricky, right? Many of us are surrounded by kind, lovely people trying to do the right thing. Indeed, to “love your neighbor as yourself” seems like it should be easy enough. Treat people like you would like to be treated. Bring the new neighbors some regular baked goods (and gluten-free, just in case). Have a conversation with someone you have not spoken to in months or years. Write an occasional card to your siblings “just because.” There were probably varieties of these acts of kindness in Jesus’ day. He is perhaps substituting figs for cookies. But “exchange pleasantries with the traveling cloth merchant” isn’t the example Jesus gives.
“A man fell victim to robbers…they stripped him and beat him and went off, leaving him half-dead.” The righteous pass by the scene of the dying man. The story’s hero is the one on the margins of Jewish society, who perhaps would not have been welcomed, in other circumstances, by the man now in the ditch. His neighborly love causes him to halt his journey, tend wounds, and pay for the man’s care out of his savings. Are we interruptible? Are we attentive to the hurts of others? Are we generous with our money and possessions? Who has crossed your mind in the past few weeks as someone needing help? Perhaps it is an acquaintance suffering from cancer. Maybe you were invited to donate or volunteer to a special local cause, but it just won’t stick in your mind (or schedule) to make it happen. The needs of people are many and varied. We cannot help everyone, but God does place opportunities in our path for compassion and courageous love. This week, be “the one who treated him with mercy.”
Please continue to pray for Fr. Gerard, as he is enjoying his break. I spoke to him this morning in French, and he is doing well and is very happy to be with family and friends.