Jesus loved to teach people about God. Great crowds often would gather to hear him preach.
One day, a man who was an expert in Mosaic law wanted to test Jesus’ knowledge of the law.
“Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” the man asked Jesus.
Jesus knew what the man was up to.
“What is written in the law? How do you read it?” Jesus replied.
“You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself,” the man answered.
“You have answered correctly; do this and you will live,” he said.
Jesus had answered the man’s question perfectly, but the man continued to test Jesus.
“And who is my neighbor?” asked the man, who wanted to justify himself.
Jesus replied by telling a parable.
“A man fell victim to robbers as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead,” Jesus began.
“A priest happened to be going down that road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side,” Jesus continued.
Eventually, a Levite came along and saw the injured man collapsed on the side of the road. Likewise, he did not stop to help, Jesus said. Instead, he crossed to the opposite side of the road and kept on going, just like the priest had done.
“But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight,” Jesus said.
Even though Jews and Samaritans did not like each other, the Samaritan man treated and bandaged the injured man’s wounds and took him to an inn to care for him. When the Samaritan had to leave, he paid the innkeeper to take care of the injured man, Jesus said.
“Take care of him. If you spend more than what I have given you, I shall repay you on my way back,” Jesus said the Samaritan told the innkeeper.
“Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?” Jesus asked the expert in Mosaic law.
“The one who treated him with mercy,” the man answered.
“Go and do likewise,” Jesus said.
READ MORE ABOUT IT: Luke 10
1. Who wanted to test Jesus?
2. Who was the injured man’s neighbor?
What are some of the ways in which you show love and mercy to your neighbors?
There are several places in the Bible that tell of people who tried to trick Jesus.
For example, in Matthew 22:16-22, the Pharisees had their disciples and the Herodians ask Jesus a question. They thought there were only two possible answers. One would upset the people, and the other would upset the Roman rulers.
“Tell us, then, what is your opinion: Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?” they asked Jesus.
Jesus asked to be shown a coin with which the tax was paid. Jesus was given a Roman coin.
“Whose image is this and whose inscription?” he asked.
“Caesar’s,” they answered.
“Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God,” Jesus told them.
But the Pharisees did not give up. In Matthew 22:34-40, they again tried to trick Jesus.
This time, they asked Jesus which commandment in the law was the greatest.
Jesus told them that the greatest and first commandment was to love God with all their hearts, souls and minds.
“The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” Jesus said. “The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”
Soon after, the Pharisees stopped asking Jesus questions.
St. Laurence of Brindisi was born in Italy in 1559, and he was ordained a Capuchin priest in 1582.
Laurence was a very successful preacher. More than 800 of his homilies have survived, and they demonstrate his deep understanding of Scripture.
His work as a preacher and a leader in his order greatly contributed to the Catholic Reformation, which was in response to the Protestant Reformation.
Laurence died in 1619, and he was made a doctor of the church in 1959. We remember him on July 21.
Unscramble the letters in each word and arrange them to form a quotation from the children’s story.
nad iwli ouy od vile hits
Answers: pu…ê, ll·¥â ç, no é, op, «ù å·¥âl, s·¥â…• á
op s·¥â…• á pu…ê no é ll·¥â ç «ù å·¥âl.