Sunday 12 July 2020

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year A
Word for today
The Gospel of Luke 10:25-37

Who is the neighbour?

What we call the neighbour really has become a quite complicated concept, having we changed the meaning of words. According to the distorted terminology the neighbour is a theoretical term, defining the other in a generic way, someone who comes closer when in need. The neighbour is therefore the existential definition of someone you can or cannot help, respect, rescue. But this kind of neighbour does not really exist, he can only be found in papers, principles, preaching, moral. Really this kind neighbour does not exists. No man in need becomes the neighbour, this existential falsity can only exists on paper or within the mind’s deception. Maybe this is the reason why the poor ones, the needy ones are described as the neighbours in million of pages within every religion and constitution, nevertheless their number never decreases. The other can never become the neighbour because of his needs, or because someone decides it.   
Jesus’ question regarding this issue is precise: Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbour to the robbers' victim? Jesus is correct, he describes as the neighbour not the robber victim but the other three pilgrims. The neighbour is not the other, you are the neighbour when you get close to someone in need. The neighbour is not the one in need but the one who go close, close to the one in need. Being the neighbour of others is not a social status acquired as a consequence of closeness or need, but a life’s choice. This is why we can fill up the world with neighbours and still not get anything done for peoples’ needs. We can gather forever to discuss and reflect on how we could help the numerous neighbours we would like to take care of.  We can spend years in verifing statistics about how many kinds of neighbours there can be, in which conditions they pull themselves along, whether they are young or old, men or women, in which part of the city they mostly live: in the meanwhile none of those neighbours out there will be rescued. It is certain. But if, according to evangelical correctness, we consider the term neighbour from the opposite point of view, will see that the neighbours are really the one gathered to discuss. Let’s count the ones who from today will become the neighbours of the ones in need, who will spend their time, money, effort, skills, home, clothes, food for them. This is how we should really count the neighbours.  Your neighbour is not the one you meet and  who needs you, in the gospel’s parable the robbers’ victim, but the one who decide to serve and help the one in need. 
A Jesus’ disciple does not theorize about neighbours, or analize statistics, gathering meeting or reflecting on the subject, he himself becomes step by step humanity’s neighbour. It is better for us to understand this distinction very well before we find ourselves in front of the Lord, in His home, in the last day. If we don’t understand that we are the neighbour, and so if we never really behave as one, when the Lord will ask ‘Who is the neighbour’, we will not understand that He was talking to us.