Today, we might wonder: «Who is my neighbor?» (Lk 10:29). Some inquisitive Jews were wondering why their rabbi disappeared on Saturday vigils. They suspected he had a secret, maybe with God, and they entrusted someone to follow him..., what he, quite moved, did to a wretched slum. There he saw the rabbi cooking and sweeping at some woman's home: she was a paralytic, and the rabbi was serving her and preparing her some special meal for the festivity. When the spy came back, the Jews asked him: «Where did he go, to Heaven, amongst clouds and stars?». But the spy answered: «No!, he climbed up much higher».
To love our neighbor with good deeds is the highest up we can climb; it is where true love is made manifest, not just passing by on the other side: In a document, the 2nd Vatican Ecumenical Council, asserts «Christ himself raises his voice amongst the poor so as to stir up his disciples' charity».
To be a good Samaritan means to change our plans («he went over to him»), dedicating our time («he took care of him»)... Which allows us to contemplate the figure of the innkeeper, as His Holiness John Paul II points out: «What could the Samaritan have done without him? In fact, the innkeeper, remaining anonymous, is who takes care of the toughest part of the job. We can all act like him if we fulfill our own task with a spirit of service. Every occupation offers the more or less direct possibility to help the needy (...). The faithful accomplishment of our own professional duties already implies the practice of our loving all persons as well as our society».
To leave everything to harbor he who needs it (the good Samaritan) and to do well our job for love (the innkeeper), are the two ways for us to love our neighbor: «‘Which (…) made himself neighbor’ (...). ‘The one who had mercy on him’. And Jesus said, ‘Go then and do the same’» (Lk 10:36-37).
We turn to the Virgin Mary and She —who is a living example!— will help us discovering our neighbors' material and spiritual needs.