Who is My Neighbor?

by Gabino Zavala, Director of Peace & Justice Ministry

Rembrandt-The Good Samaritan

Rembrandt [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

In this Sunday’s Gospel Jesus gives us an insight into a question that is often asked: Who is my neighbor? In the parable of the Good Samaritan Jesus sets aside society’s expectations. It is not the social definitions such as class, religion, gender, sexual orientation or ethnicity that determines who is our neighbor. A neighbor is a person who acts with compassion. What determines if I am a loving disciple of Christ and thus a neighbor to others is if I am a person who treats others with compassion.

As a country we are often given the opportunity to ask the question —Who is our neighbor? We are given the opportunity to be a compassionate and loving neighbor to others. So it is with profound sadness that we received the news on June 23 that the Supreme Court issued a 4-4 decision in U.S. v .Texas, thus denying peace of mind to millions who now are at risk of having their families torn apart due to our broken immigration system. It has been decided that they aren’t our neighbors. And yet, as a people of faith we are called to compassion and love. We are called to welcome the stranger and protect families. We are called to keep families united.

This “no decision” by the Supreme Court means that Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) and Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) families who have lived in our communities for years continue to live in fear of having their families torn apart. This had been an opportunity for our courts to give guidance to our nation. Instead it turned its back on our immigrant sisters and brothers.

As a Precious Blood family we took a corporate stance for Comprehensive Reform of the Immigration System at our Annual Assembly. One of the points of our corporate stance is to: Preserve family unity as a cornerstone for our national immigration system. This 4-4 ruling by the Supreme Court shows that our work is far from done. We need to find ways to raise our voices for comprehensive reform of our broken immigration system. One way we can all do that is by calling our members of congress to remind them, in light of this recent ruling, that the solution lies in comprehensive immigration reform.

Like the Good samaritan, may we be disciples of Christ who have the courage to live with an abundance of compassion, and see the dignity in all our neighbors.

2016-12-12T09:54:24+00:00 July 5th, 2016|Weekly Wine Press|