My Neighbour

Who is My Neighbour?

An eternal question with the simplest of answers we refuse to hear due to our entrenchments that “I” is always right in beliefs, culture, race, gender, religion/spirituality, politics, paradigms, etc.

Yet, the answer is found throughout the meta-narrative foundation myths/legends/stories of our existence.

In monasticism communities and individuals vow to follow a way of living. It is taken as a whole being, in communion with all of creation, it is simply called a “Rule of Life” or “Rule of Ministry.” It basically is covenanting to not live as an asshole.

It has been many years since I have renewed my Rule pledge, it has transformed, grown and contracted over time, yet it comes back to two simple things, a teaching and a story…that echo from 2000 years ago, and many more thousand years old to those stories and movements I am drawn to today.

Who is My Neighbour?

37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

-Matthew 22:37-40 (New King James Version)


The Parable of the Good Samaritan

25 And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?

27 So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’[a] and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’[b]

28 And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”

29 But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

30 Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side.33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 On the next day, when he departed,[c] he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ 36 So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?”

37 And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

-Luke 10:25-37 (New King James Version)

Our world can be transformed…one simple act of kindness at a time, by seeing our neighbour before us.