Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?’ He said, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise.’ (Luke 10:36-37)
To the Jewish listeners to this story, the one who showed mercy was ‘the enemy’, someone to be distrusted; someone not ‘like us’. Implicit in this parable is that God does not care about petty human divisions. We are called to have compassion and show mercy, especially to those not ‘like us’. It is easy to be caught up in rules and regulations. It is also easy to be caught up in appearances. ‘What will others think?’ There is a wonderful recent example of following your heart and not being put off by others (story of Adelaide woman) Mercy costs so little yet can reap such a rich harvest. However, it can be mistaken for weakness.
So, we need to be people of compassion and mercy in how we behave around and towards the young people in our care, since they ‘read the Gospel in us’. We need to encourage them to display compassion and mercy to the people in their lives. In the midst of difficult times, such as we are currently living in, we need to guide our young people toward compassion and mercy, despite what the media or certain politicians may say. We also need to continue to educate young people about those in need, providing them with opportunities to display compassion and mercy, emulating Jesus.
Have a great week…and term!