It was a Muslim person who helped me to rediscover the parable of the Good Samaritan and a Jewish person who helped me reexamine the faith of my childhood when I wanted to leave it behind. I am deeply grateful to both. We are surrounded by neighbors. Some of our neighbors are sitting next to us in the pews on Sunday. Others are praying at different times, in different places, in different languages. Others are not praying at all, perhaps subscribing to a secular worldview instead. All these people are our neighbors. With all these people we have exciting differences and meaningful shared values. We are called to love our neighbors as ourselves, to show mercy and to serve our communities. The good Samaritan reached out to someone who was different and offered compassion. As Jesus said, “Go and do likewise.”
This is an excerpt from “Faith Reflections: Blessed Be the Good Samaritans” by Samantha Nichols, Cafe, April 4, 2016. Today we remember Nathan Söderblom, bishop of Uppsala, who died in 1931.