Tuesday, August 11, 2009

And who is my neighbor?

There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test him and said, "Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus said to him, "What is written in the law? How do you read it?" He said in reply, "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself." He replied to him, "You have answered correctly; do this and you will live." But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" Jesus replied, "A man fell victim to robbers as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead. A priest happened to be going down that road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. Likewise a Levite came to the place, and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight. He approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them. Then he lifted him up on his own animal, took him to an inn and cared for him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction, 'Take care of him. If you spend more than what I have given you, I shall repay you on my way back.' Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers' victim?" He answered, "The one who treated him with mercy." Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise." (Luke 10: 25-37).
Eunice Kennedy Shriver was a neighbor to many. May the same be said of us.

"Without a doubt, handicapped people, in revealing the radical frailty of the human condition, are an expression of the drama of suffering and, in our world eager for hedonism and seduced by ephemeral and deceitful beauty, their difficulties are often perceived as a scandal and a provocation and their problems as a burden that must be eliminated or rapidly resolved...They, however, are living images of the crucified Son. They reveal the mysterious beauty of the One who emptied himself for us and became obedient unto death.." (Pope John Paul II).


Jacob said...

Pope Benedict XVI named Eunice Shriver a dame of the Order of St. Gregory in recognition of her public service. God bless her!

Anonymous said...

She was a great woman and will be remembered for the kindness and compassion she brought the world. Let it not be a sad day, let us rejoyce in having been able to learn from her and grow with her as a people. She was the quintisential "good samaritan" we all should look within ourselves to find more of.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Well said anonymous. A shining example of what it means to be a neighbor; a good samaritan. There was a time when people with developmental disabilities were treated just terribly. Many were institutionalized. I know from first-hand experience (having worked with the developmentally-disabled)how things have improved in this regard.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver did so much to bring about positive change in this area.

Rest in peace.

Betty said...

Pope John Paul II had it right. Too many view handicapped people as a scandal and a "burden" which needs to be eliminated. This is one reason why there is a push for euthanasia. Wake up people. Life - all life - has value and is precious.

Hampers said...

Nice blog. Enjoyed going through it.Keep it up the good work. Cheers :)

Michelle said...

Washington D.C., Aug 11, 2009 / 06:05 pm (CNA).-

Eunice Kennedy Shriver, sister of President John F. Kennedy, died today at the age of 88. The Knights of Columbus praised her as the founder of the Special Olympics, while pro-life leaders remembered her stand as a prominent Democrat who objected to the party’s increasing support for abortion.

"No one more than Eunice Kennedy Shriver understood better the power held by the most vulnerable in our society,” Marjorie Dannenfelser, President of the Susan B. Anthony List, said in a statement. “She fought for those hidden in the shadows of life, while acknowledging that they teach us far more than we could ever offer them. She was consistent in her championing of every vulnerable human life.”

According to the Susan B. Anthony List, Eunice and her husband, former Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate Sargent Shriver, joined Pennsylvania Gov. Bob Casey, Sr. and many other influential pro-life leaders in signing a full-page New York Times ad protesting the Democratic Party’s embrace of abortion politics.

The July 1992 ad, titled “The New American Compact,” denounced abortion as a drastic reversal of American progress towards liberty and justice for all. It declared the pro-abortion Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade to be “the most momentous act of exclusion in our history” which deprived every unborn human being of the “most fundamental” human right to life.

The ad also called for support for policies that help both mother and child, concluding:

"We can choose to reaffirm our respect for human life. We can choose to extend once again the mantle of protection to all members of the human family, including the unborn. We can choose to provide effective care of mothers and children. And if we make those choices, America will experience a new birth of freedom, bringing with it a renewed spirit of community, compassion, and caring."

Jane Abraham, General Chairman of the Susan B. Anthony List, said Mrs. Shriver and her “heart for the most vulnerable” will be “deeply missed.”

“She fought for the dignity inherent in every human life, born and unborn. Her legacy will serve as a life-affirming example to young women everywhere, and for that we are so blessed,” Abraham added...

In an August 10 letter sent prior to Mrs. Shriver’s death, Archbishop Pietro Sambi, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, conveyed to her family “the warm greetings and paternal affection” of Pope Benedict XVI. Archbishop Sambi said the Pontiff united himself spiritually with each of her family members and prayed that God will grant Mrs. Shriver, a woman of “ardent faith and generous public service,” the reward of her many labors, particularly on behalf of the physically and mentally challenged.

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