The Power to Change

As Christians, we are called to follow Christ and live by his example. To really follow Jesus, we need to understand this process and his mission. In the Gospel for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Luke 10:25-37), a scholar of the law, a kind of lawyer, challenged Jesus and wanted to know how to inherit eternal life. Jesus challenged him back by asking him for his interpretation of the written law. The lawyer then quotes two of the 613 laws: “You shall love neighbor as yourself” and “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength.” Jesus says “Bravo” and you would think that is the end of it, but the lawyer took it a little further. “Who is my neighbor?” he asks.

The Good Samaritan

The road to Jericho is dangerous. Jesus used this setting to tell the Parable of the Good Samaritan. He illustrates the superiority of love over law. The priest and the Levite’s strict observance of the law would not permit them to touch the beaten, broken body of anyone except a family member. In passing by the half dead victim they both chose to preserve their legal purity as outlined in the Old Covenant. The Samaritan, on the other hand, is the example of the New Covenant. He was “moved with compassion and stopped to help the man. Which one of these three was neighbor to the robbers’ victim? The correct answer: The one who treated him with mercy. Jesus told him to do the same.


Jesus’ message was all about love and finding Him in the poor, the sick, immigrants and refugees, the oppressed and outcasts of society. To follow Christ means to walk in his shoes, feel as he felt and to love as he loved, unconditionally, with no regard to race, religious belief, gender, age, social status or sexual preference. The heart of our faith is our ability to care for what happens to every brother and every sister. To be a Christian means to give ourselves over to a process that has the power to change the world.