lahaye1728figures209lukex30goodsamaritanNot unlike the priest or the Levite in the parable of the Good Samaritan who did not want to risk violating ritual purity laws and being prevented thereby from performing their ministry, I sometimes avoid and ignore others because I consider them as mere objects that get in the way of my realizing, say, a pet project or attaining a particular goal. I fail to be a neighbor to others because I refuse to get near and recognize that they, like me, are persons too. I often forget that my indifference to any person anywhere is really indifference to every person, including myself, everywhere. If, however, I get close enough to those I tend to shy away from when I see them in the street, I may just discover, as St. Vincent de Paul did after he stopped running away, that they especially bear the likeness of Christ Jesus, himself the image of the invisible God and the first born of all creation, that these poor are my lords and masters, that in serving them I serve Jesus Christ, that to leave prayer to attend to them is really to leave God for God (cf. Ps. 31:11-12; P. Coste: IX, 246, 319; X, 332, 680; XI, 393)

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