4th October 2021
Memorial of Saint Francis of Assis
LOVING OUR NEIGHBOR IS LOVING GOD
Jonah 1:1-17; 2:1.10
Ps Jonah 2:188.8.131.52
Gospel Lk 10:25-37
In today’s gospel, Jesus brings up a very crucial aspect of our Christian life: our relationship with others. Whatever reason that obfuscates a sound relationship with our brothers and sisters is contrary to God’s commandments and our humanity. Even religion if it at some point hinders our relationship, through its rules and directives, is contrary to God’s laws. That is why Jesus tells the parable of the good Samaritan, to show that religion and faith should go together and should promote the good of all human beings; this parable also shows how often religions bother the faith.
in this parable there was a fallen man, crippled and halfdead, the Levite passes, the priest passes, and who stops is the Samaritan who has nothing to lose, without religion, regarded as impure by the Jews; but is not that the Levite and the priest didn't stop because they're evil, they didn't want to denigrate the rules of their religions: according to Jews law no one could touch blood otherwise he or she becomes impure and he/she could not enter in the temple and they would need to be purified. In this example, religion separated the self from the other, blocked the relationship with neighbor and with God.
This is the greatest challenge of all humanity: to see the other as the image and likeness of God. some people are people of religion, but they are not people of faith. that is why they do disastrous things in the name of religion, thinking they are doing it in the name of God, leaving aside the other, while God is the first who condemns such Action. We sin against our neighbor when we allow money, power, goods, religion to have precedence over a human being.
Today we are celebrating the memorial of Saint Francis of Assis, a man known as “brother” of creation, a man of peace, who during his lifetime sought to establish a universal fraternity where all human lives as brothers and sisters and care for each other as the Samaritan did in the gospel.
Apart from fighting for the fraternity of all humans, he is a very firm protector of all creation up to the point of calling everything “brothers and sisters” because for him since we are all from the same creator who is God, we(humans) and the rest of the creation (trees, animals, air, moon, sun, etc.) are brothers and sisters, and therefore he was against any kind of devastation of trees, the irrational killing of animals. May he inspire us to love one another as Jesus tells us in the gospel and to love and protect our world by caring for all creatures around us.