Our Gospel today is not a Divine command to pick up every hitchhiker or throw caution to the wind (Luke 10:25-37). But it does call us to reexamine our cowering fear that makes us miss the opportunity to make a difference in the world, and to face our fears for the sake of love. The fireman knows all too well the danger of the burning building, but rushes in while others are rushing out. A friend stays up all night providing a shoulder for the tears of her broken-hearted friend. Getting involved in that domestic problem is messy, time and energy-consuming; but she can do no other because her love for her friend draws her in.
Sometimes we just have to face our fears and walk into the path of potential danger or inconvenience for the sake of doing the right thing, for the sake of our higher calling as followers of the one who gave us this parable in the first place. Apathy, that makes us see injustice or suffering and simply shrug our shoulders as if to say, “Well, at least it is not my neighbor,” cannot define our lives.
Fear that makes us see the suffering of others and run the other way into our safe cocoon, cannot define our lives. We can be too careful. Lord have mercy. And may we find the courage and compassion to have mercy, too.
- Deacon Robert