Pentecost +11 B


you claim I am
your bread of life

I claim I am
your bread of life

we thereby claim
to be lovers

we thereby claim
to be neighbors

those we claim
we choose

claims and choices
define our depths

= = = = = = = =

Once, some thirty years ago, I made a survey of sermons dealing with this story of the Samaritan from the early third century into the nineteenth century, and I found out that most preachers who commented on that passage felt that it was about how one ought to behave towards one’s neighbour, that it proposed a rule of conduct, or an exemplification of ethical duty. I believe that this is, in fact, precisely the opposite of what Jesus wanted to point out. He had not been asked, how should one behave towards one’s neighbour, but rather, who is my neighbour? And what he said, as I understand it, was, My neighbour is who I choose, not who I have to choose. There is no way of categorizing who my neighbour ought to be.

                    [ The Rivers North of the Future: The Testament of Ivan Illich, (page 51) ]