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Who is my neighbour

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In this reflection we will explore the parable of the Good Samaritan, through the interweaving of a talk based on Luke 10:25‭-‬37 with music, readings and quiet prayer.

Opening music:

Listen to the following piece of music as an opening prayer.

MetanoiaAlana Levandoski
00:00 / 03:25


Move beyond your small mind,

For the kingdom is at hand

Move beyond your small mind,

For the kingdom is at hand

Awaken oh my heart,

Awaken oh my heart

So I can move beyond my small mind,

For the kingdom is at hand.

Move into the larger mind,

For the kingdom is at hand

Move into the larger mind,

For the kingdom is at hand

Awaken oh my heart,

Awaken oh my heart

So I can move into the larger mind,

For the kingdom is at hand

Reflection Talk:

Talk length: 18 minutes


Below is the scripture text from the talk. I invite you to read this prayerfully yourself, and spend some time in quiet reflection:

Luke 10:25-37 

On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’”

“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbour?”

In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.  A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.  So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.  But a Samaritan, as he travelled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.  He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him.  The next day he took out two denarii  and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’   “Which of these three do you think was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

Quiet prayer 

I invite you into a time of quiet prayer, using the ten minute timer below which begins and ends with the sound of a gong. Open your heart to be stirred by the Spirit, and surrender yourself to the presence and action of God within.

Quiet prayer
00:00 / 10:25

End the time of quiet prayer by listening to the following song:

Whichever way you turnJ. Philip Newell and friends
00:00 / 03:20


Whichever way you turn,

Whichever way you turn,

Whichever way you turn

There is the face of God

Questions for reflection:

Below are some of the questions from this talk. Spend some time reflecting on these as honestly as you can:

  • Is my claimed love for God reflected in how I love my fellow human beings and other life forms?

  • Are there any people whose humanity I tend to not fully recognise, and thus under-estimate or overlook them.

  • Am I trying to maintain some kind of social status, or uphold some kind of image, at the cost of tending the wounds of those most in need?

Even just to see this is already a crack in the image, a moment of opportunity for liberation. This is the invitation to be freed of the husks of our social roles and identities, our safe contracts, our narrow belonging systems and prejudiced conditioning, so that the sweet kernel of our deepest most beautiful and boundlessly loving human beingness, sourced in God's Divine Being, can blossom and flourish. 

For further reflection:

Below are some of the quotes from the talk and additional quotes for further reflection:

1 Corinthians 13:2 

“...if I have not love I am nothing

1 John 4:7-8 

Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

Marcus Borg: 

"The effect of the purity system was to create a world with sharp social boundaries: between pure and impure, righteous and sinner, whole and not whole, male and female, rich and poor, Jew and Gentile." ... "In the message and activity of Jesus, we see an alternative social vision: a community shaped not by the ethos and politics of purity, but by the ethos and politics of compassion."

"...this beloved and often domesticated parable was originally a pointed attack on the purity system and an advocacy of another way: compassion."

Matthew 5:40-41 

"If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.  If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles." 

Attributed to Lilla Watson, although thought to be of Aboriginal origin:

"If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up in mine, then let us work together."

Fr Gregory Boyle:

Radical kinship is the only thing that mattered to Jesus"

Unless there’s a connective tissue, born of tenderness, which is the highest level of spiritual maturity, otherwise love stays in the air or in our hearts or in our heads. Unless love becomes tender, there’s nothing that connects us to each other. And that’s God’s dream come true: that you may be one. How do you obliterate once and for all the illusion that we are separate?”

"Standing with the marginalized and getting to know them makes it impossible to demonize them. That means standing with the disposable so that the day will come that we stop throwing people away.

Ending prayer:

Our loving God, boundless in mercy, well-spring of compassion,

May we not forget the infinite possibilities

 that are born from our rootedness in you.

May awareness of your presence settle into our bones, 

 and allow our souls the freedom to sing, dance, explore and love. 

May we know the breadth and depth of your love 

 that encompasses each and every one of us, 

 that bursts the banks of our limited economies, 

 and flows in abundance from hearts that are open and willing,

 tending the wounds of our world with deep tenderness and mercy.


(Based on a blessing by Teresa of Avila)

Ending music:

Something beautifulSinead O'Connor
00:00 / 05:15

Allow this ending song to graze your heart in whatever way it does, and carry the ending question with you as you go into your week - who'll dress their wounds?


I wanna make

Something beautiful

For you and from you

To show you

To show you

I adore you

Oh you

And your journey

Towards me

Which I see

And I see

All you push through

Mad for you

And because of you

I couldn't thank you in ten thousand years

If I cried ten thousand rivers of tears

Ah, but you know the soul

And you know what makes it gold

You give life through blood

Blood, blood

Blood, blood

Oh, blood, blood

Oh I wanna make something so lovely for you

'Cause I promised that's what I'd do for you

With the Bible, I stole

I know you forgave my soul because

Such was my need on a chronic Christmas Eve

And I think we're agreed

That it should have been free

And you sang to me

They dress the wounds of my poor people

As though they're nothing

Saying, "Peace, peace"

When there's no peace

They dress the wounds of my poor people

As though they're nothing

Saying, "Peace, peace, peace"

When there's no peace

Days without number

Now can a bride forget her jewels?

Or a maid her ornaments?

Yet, my people forgotten me

Days without number

Days without number

And in their want

Who'll dress their wounds?

Who'll dress their wounds?

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Sharon's book that was previously called "Contemplative Living" has been republished by AnamChara Books under the title "Deeper: Finding the Depth Dimension Beneath the Surface of Life". The Kindle version is available from Amazon, and the hard copy version can be ordered from or Takealot, or from your local bookshop through Ingram Distribution.

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