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June 24 | Leviticus 19:33-37


 

DAILY READING


 

REFLECTION

 

Relationships with Foreigners

by Pr. Dave Mann

 

The parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), yesterday’s text, is perhaps the most well-known of all Jesus’ parables. It is even more interesting when we understand the Geo-political context of the Samaritans and Jews. The region of Samaria was situated between Judea and Galilee, regions inhabited by Jews. The road between Jericho and Jerusalem, the setting for the parable, was in Judea. So, the Samaritan who cared for the victimized man was not in his homeland. He was a foreigner.

 

Some of the laws of the Jews, pertaining to relationships with foreigners in the land, were laid out in Leviticus 19:33-37. Treat the foreigners with the same respect as the native-born. Love them as yourself. Use honest weights and measures – no cheating on business deals with foreigners even if you could get away with it, because they are not in the know about all the ways that business is normally conducted. And why should this be done? Because the Israelites were also foreigners themselves when they were living in Egypt.

 

In the parable, the Levite and the priest were in their homeland, Judea, but they did not show concern for the victim. Ironically, even though the Samaritan was a foreigner and thus was the most vulnerable, he was the one who cared for the victim. The Samaritan, though he was likely unfamiliar with the intricacies of the Jewish law, was the one who followed God’s will.

 

We, too, have numerous opportunities to show kindness to foreigners, many of whom have entered this country legally. We can help them register for English classes, find a job, understand workers’ rights, get children registered for school, learn about school bus pick-up and drop-off, become familiar with renters’ responsibilities and rights, and much more. Just being a friend with a warm smile goes a long way.

 

All of us have had helpers in our life’s journeys. We can be such helpers for foreigners whom God brings into our lives.

 

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, please help me to be compassionate with those whose paths you cause to cross ours. Help me to be patient and loving, in Jesus’ name, Amen.



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