We instinctively tend to limit for whom we exert ourselves. We do it for people like us, and for people whom we like. Jesus will have none of that. By depicting a Samaritan helping a Jew, Jesus could not have found a more forceful way to say that anyone at all in need – regardless of race, politics, class, and religion – is your neighbour. Not everyone is your brother or sister in faith, but everyone is your neighbour, and you must love your neighbour.
Do not waste your time bothering whether you “love” your neighbour act as if you did. As soon as we do this, we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him. If you injure someone you dislike, you will find yourself disliking him more. If you do him a good turn, you will find yourself disliking him less.
I have become to believe that the root of all our personal and emotional difficulties is a lack of togetherness, a failure to connect that keeps us from receiving life and prevents the life in us from spilling over onto others. I therefore believe that the surest route to overcoming problems and becoming the people we were meant to be is reconnecting with God and with our community. But reconnecting, at its most healing levels, is no simple matter. In our fast-paced, get-it-done culture, it is rare.
Christianity is not a religion at all but a way of life, a falling in love with God, and through him a falling in love with our fellows.
Through me let there be a warm smile, and a caring heart. Through me let there be a willingness to listen and a readiness to understand. Through me let there be steadfastness, dependability, trust and loyalty. Through me let there be compassion, forgiveness, mercy and love. Through me let there be every quality I find, Oh Lord, in thee.
What is it to serve God and to do His will? Nothing else than to show mercy to our neighbour. For it is our own neighbour who needs our service; God in heaven needs it not.