Good Samaritans, Contempt Culture, and Being Angry

A Reading from the Gospel of Luke (10:25-37)

There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test Jesus and said,
“Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law?
How do you read it?”
He said in reply,
“You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your being,
with all your strength,
and with all your mind,
and your neighbor as yourself.”

He replied to him, “You have answered correctly;
do this and you will live.”

But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus,
“And who is my neighbor?”
Jesus replied,
“A man fell victim to robbers
as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho.
They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead.
A priest happened to be going down that road,
but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
Likewise a Levite came to the place,
and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him
was moved with compassion at the sight.
He approached the victim,
poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them.
Then he lifted him up on his own animal,
took him to an inn, and cared for him.
The next day he took out two silver coins
and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction,
‘Take care of him.
If you spend more than what I have given you,
I shall repay you on my way back.’
Which of these three, in your opinion,
was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?”
He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.”
Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.

In our current political climate, how often do you find yourself scrolling through social media or the news and just end up feeling frustrated, hurt, and just downright angry?

I do. So much these days that it’s almost unbearable.

And it’s okay. It’s okay to be angry and frustrated with the way things are. I mean as a country, the U.S. is having debates about what constitutes as life and murder, we’re  telling the people of countries in turmoil that they’re not good (i.e. white) enough to come here to get a better life for their families, we’re telling complete strangers that they should go commit suicide because their political views don’t align with ours. We ostracize coworkers because they think/look/act differently than we do.

And it has to stop.

Jesus was a radical in His time. But He never said that he was here to break the laws that were set down by God in the Old Testament. He never said to hate the people around us for being different. You guys, he was beaten, flogged, stabbed, spit on, and fucking died for ALL of us, regardless of our politics or religious views. Jesus may have been the Son of God but He was also 100% human for his 33ish years here on Earth. He felt our pain, He felt anger and exasperation.

There is a very large difference between not agreeing with someone morally and treating them like they have the plague. 

Heck, taking religion out of it: what is one of the VERY first things we learn in our early years at school?

Be kind and treat others the way we would want to be treated.

Why then, do we go around treating each other like crap? Sure, there are people that it is extremely hard to like. Trust me, I deal with a decent amount of them at work. But my goal, no matter how frustrated and upset they make me, is to at the bare minimum treat them with the respect and dignity they deserve as a human being.

I am not a fan of our president here in the U.S. I think he’s kind of a moron to be honest. But do I want him to die? No. He should face the consequences of his actions for sure, but I don’t think he should be assassinated or go off himself because I don’t agree with the decisions he makes.

Something I thought of this week as I reflected on this week’s Gospel is that we’re also our own neighbor.

That whole treat others the way we want to be treated thing goes both ways friend. You can’t treat everyone else amazingly and then turn around and destroy yourself.

Just like everyone deserves a basic level of respect so do you. You also deserve that respect, not just from others but also yourself. It’s not always easy, I know. But it is so worth it. You are beautiful and strong and smart and loved.

You are so much better than the evil things that people say to/about you or that you say to/about yourself.  

So, let’s go forward today and stop letting our differences divide us. Let’s stop letting our inner demons tell us who we are and what we can and can’t be.  I firmly believe that if we can get over ourselves and move past our culture of contempt then we can make our world much better places. St Teresa of Calcutta has said to start where we are, with our families, with our friends. Even if we individually can’t fix the world, we can help someone near us, whether it’s a smile, a kind word, change for the bus.

 

St. Michael the Archangel

Defend us in battle

Be Our Protection Against the Wickedness and Snares of the Devil.

May God rebuke him we humbly pray.

And do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host,

Cast into hell Satan and all his evil spirits

who prowl about the world seeking the run of souls.

(Pope Leo XIII)

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