Our neighbours surround us every day. They include all of the people in our learning spaces, the people we encounter in our neighbourhood, at work and in the school yard, those we walk or drive by and even those in far away places we see on the news. In response to a question of who is our neighbour, Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan, which is timely for us today. Like the priest and Levite, we can sometimes be too busy to see the need in others or even walk away from those in need because they are not part of our group or clan.
The choice of the Samaritan, an outsider, to be the one who was the ‘good neighbour’ is a powerful reminder that God’s love and grace extends to all people. Where people have differences, we are reminded to walk with them in compassion and love, in response to God’s grace and forgiveness for us. The simple acts of inclusion and listening can make a difference in our local context. Seeing all people as part of God’s creation and our commonality as human beings lifts us above religious and cultural differences. We begin with a respect for the dignity of all people. We respond with love to the needs of our fellow travellers who share the tiny blue dot in space at this time in history.