Beads of Joy 07-11-10
One Who Shows Mercy
©2010 James Dacey, Jr. SFO
Yet another super spectacular Lord's day where we get to learn about another one of Jesus' parables. I know I have shared and said that many times throughout my writings; it's just so wonderful learning directly from the Master Himself. Today is another fantastic day of teaching, as we reflect upon Luke 10:25-37 (The Greatest Commandment / The Parable of The Good Samaritan). So much wisdom and love and mercy jam packed throughout the gospel. The lawyer speaking to Jesus has directed this insightful parable to be all about the truest answer to "And who is my neighbor?" Leading up to who is a neighbor? I know in today's times, most people would simply say the people that live in my neighborhood, hence the word neighbor. But honestly how many neighbors don't get along in today's time. How many neighbors don't even know each other, yet they share common fences and sometimes even common walls. We live in a much different society than Jesus did. In fact since I was a kid till today, society has slid downward and overall hospitality and general concern for your fellow man/woman has dropped off the chart. Yes there are still many who care for all, no matter what race, creed, religion, whatever. But we can see plainly in general how divided as a nation we have become. In the past the front porch was an open door to greet and meet people as they walked by, along with a view to all your visible neighbors around you. Now we have fenced yards with gazebos and screened in decks off the kitchen. So much has changed.
People tend to be more attached to and even more friendly to people on the other side of the globe; people they have never met, except through the internet, rather than that physical person next door. Is it the whole confrontation thing? Maybe it's the fact that people aren't as people friendly as they use to be, at least not in person. Back when I was a kid, and I suspect many of you can relate. We didn't have no internet, family gatherings happened very often, and they were mostly at Grandma's house. Neighbors always helped neighbors with whatever; block parties were virtually everywhere, somewhere most every weekend. We use to share a kitchen table with a neighbor to talk about the kids, or whatever was so common. I use to be on many a front porches and stairs chatting with our many neighbors as a kid, I knew everybody. We weren't really nosy back then, it was more of a genuine caring looking out for one another knowledge. We knew who's car was who's, we knew who didn't belong on our street, we even knew the friends and family of our neighbors. We just knew these things. Common knowledge. In fact I knew the neighbors of many of my families homes, because we use to visit them so frequently. It's really not like any of that at all anymore in today's times, how sad.
Many of the kids today have no clue what they are missing. I to am guilty, we moved away from the family, and the Island many many years ago. Yes it was for good reasons, but we did what would have never been done in the generation before mine. Most families just tended to stay in the same general neighborhood, usually so they can attend Mass together. Kids would go to their parents schools, etc. So who are our neighbors in today's time? Is this parable even relateable to anyone who hasn't experienced what it is like to really have neighbors (friendly ones) all around you? You know this whole topic to some degree has taken a complete solid look at focusing only on the "neighbor" aspect of the parable, but I think that's OK for today's thoughts. So much reminiscing, maybe we can start to recreate that same secure happy environment we use to know when many of us were younger. We need to break this new trend of distance between you and those who live closest to you. Yes, all are our neighbors and all should be treated as brothers and sisters amongst God's children. But in the same breathe we really should be more neighborly to those who actually are our neighbors. But I do understand the challenges facing families these days. For a couple years we lived next door to witches (not the Charmed ones, lol), and that was a living hell. I will share that whole experience one of these days. Yes real witches, brooms, rituals, etc.
Are we really ready to embrace and carry our daily crosses? All of them? We should be the first ones to take the first step, I'm sure that many of you; especially those of you who do know your neighbors understand where I am coming from. What can we do to take the first step? How about meeting those neighbors closest to us. The ones next door, or the ones sharing the duplex you are living in. Of cause I will say that in today's time, you must be careful. If you for fact know that there are issues next door or across the street, or down the block; that could jeopardize your safety or your families safety, well then do not befriend these people. But if there is an elderly couple across the road maybe that you never have talked to for years. One of the days you really need to introduce yourself, the dialog is your choice. But if it were me, I'd say something like this, "Hi, my name is Jimmy, me and family live over at 170, the green house, we've always wanted to drop by to say hi, just been busy with the kids, way too many years have gone by." Then hopefully they will immediately respond and introduce themselves. Pray to Jesus and trust in Him to guide your words and how you will handle the situation. Pray just before you head over saying, "Jesus, I trust in You".
Your brother in Christ Jesus & His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr SFO