NIGHT PRAYER: Sunday 7/10

On Sundays, Night Prayer will focus on an element from the day's celebration of Mass. Tonight we reflect on the exchange in the gospel today between Jesus and a lawyer who asked, "Who is my neighbor?"   Of course, even a rookie attorney facing someone on the witness stand  knows not to ask a question to which she doesn't already know the answer - but I doubt the lawyer questioning Jesus in the gospel expected the response he received ("You must love the Samaritans," a people hated by all the Jews - who were hated by all Samaritans!)

Well... suppose I were to ask the same question,
    "Who is my neighbor?"
I'll take a few stabs, Lord, at how I think you might answer...
    - Your neighbor is anyone who's hungry
        at the moment when you complain about the food on your plate
        or throw good food down the garbage disposal...
    - Your neighbors are all the folks who live in that part of town
        where you figure people end up because they're just plain lazy...
    - Your neighbor is anyone without decent clothing
        when you're buying new clothes to bring home and hang
           in a closet already too full...
    - Your neighbor is the person or persons in your family
        with whom you've cut off communication...
    - Your neighbor is the person whose personal and moral choices
        are totally opposite yours...
    - Your neighbor is the person at work or school 
            (or in the neighborhood)
        who's most in need of friends but whom you ignore, even shun,
           along with all the others in your circle of friends...
    - Your neighbor is the homeless man or woman on the street,
        asking for a few bucks  - with no guarantee
            they won't waste it on booze or drugs...

    - Your neighbor is the refugee at the border, 
        the gay couple who just got married,    
          the mother who carries an unborn child, 
            the trans person you don't understand,
               the rabid Republican on your right
               and the rabid Democrat on your left...
    - Your neighbor is the politician or commentator
        whose words and deeds tempt or have caused you
          to no longer regard him or her as beloved by God,
           as your brother or sister, as your neighbor...
    - Your neighbor is the person in your life who most annoys you,
           bothers you, pushes your buttons, fires you up, irks you,
             rubs you the wrong way, provokes, offends, antagonizes and
               generally displeases you...
    That's a sketch of who your neighbor is, and remember:
        You shall love your neighbor - as you love yourself...
Protect me, Lord, while I'm awake
and watch over me while I sleep
that awake, I might keep watch with you
and asleep rest in your peace...

The Servant Song by Richard Gillad
    performed by MQP Parish 
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Will you let me be your servant
Let me be as Christ to you?
Pray that I might have the grace
To let you be my servant too.

We are pilgrims on the journey
We are travelers on the road
We are here to help each other
Walk the mile and bear the load.

I will hold the Christ-light for you
In the nighttime of your fear
I will hold my hand out to you
Speak the peace you long to hear.

I will weep when you are weeping
When you laugh, I’ll laugh with you
I will share your joy and sorrow
Till we’ve seen this journey through.

When we sing to God in heaven
We shall find such harmony
Born to all we’ve known together
Of Christ’s love and agony.

Will you let me be your servant
Let me be as Christ to you?
Pray that I might have the grace
To let you be my servant too.





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