Today's Gospel reading was one that you hear so often that, for me at least, it sort of slides into the platitude category; yeah, we know, treat everyone else the way we want to be treated, we've heard that a thousand times before. But in his homily today, our pastor drew out the fact that we sort of slide past the meat of this message because it does, and should, make us uncomfortable. Like the scribe to whom the parable was addressed, we don't have trouble recognizing that the Samaritan's actions are those of a "neighbor". What we do have trouble with is making excuses to justify our not helping those in need.
In Jesus' time, traveling alone between Jerusalem and Jericho was phenomenally stupid. The road winds through mountains filled with ravines, where many cutthroats and brigands hid and preyed on travelers. When Christ began his parable by describing the lone traveler's mugging, many of his listeners were probably thinking, "Well, of course he got robbed! What was he thinking, traveling that road alone?" But Christ didn't tell them to let the man suffer the consequences of his own poor choice; he commended the man who went out of his way to help the unfortunate.
That strikes closer to home. Our city has a huge chronic inebriate problem, and driving around, you frequently see intoxicated homeless people begging on street corners. My reaction has usually been, "Of course I'm not going to give him money; he made his choices and is dealing with the consequences, and I don't want to support his alcoholism." But that's not the response Christ is asking of me, is it?
I'm fortunate that the cry room has speakers, or I would have missed out on that homily which I clearly needed to hear. Little Bear has been a very unhappy child off and on for the past few days, and Matt and I traded off taking care of him in the cry room for most of Mass. I think he's teething again; his sixth tooth broke through last week, and there's a white nub where another is trying to come in. The only times he was quiet while out in the main church were while leaning over my shoulder to stare at the adorable one-month-old behind us who slept in his mother's arms all through Mass. Oh, I miss that stage! So small and sweet and quiet...
Blouse: Van Heusen, thrifted
Skirt: Faded Glory, thrifted
Shoes: Self Esteem, Fred Meyer
Today's outfit was basically recycled from our date last night, the first time Matt and I'd had a solid hour and a half to ourselves in quite a while. It's funny how something so casual can feel so special -- we picked up burgers from A&W and sat on a park bench by the river talking, then stopped by a restaurant with a nice bar and each had a drink while sitting on their deck, watching boats go past on the river. As we were getting ready to go pick up Little Bear, a mama duck with seven ducklings came onto the deck and ran around, quacking and eating bits of bread thrown to them by other diners. It was so funny!
While grocery shopping the other week, I noticed that the shoe department was having a sale -- 50% off the lowest-marked clearance price. I told myself I was just going to look... but when I found these for less than $15, I was hooked! I've been seeing this style everywhere and wishing for a pair, so when these fit... They're a bit higher than I'm supposed to wear, but they are so much fun!
Have a lovely week!