“When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt; I am the Lord your God. (Leviticus 19:33-34)
The Bible tells us that loving your neighbor as yourself is most important in God’s law, second only to loving God with every part of your being (Mark 12:29-31). However, in Luke, a man wanted Jesus to specify himself by asking “Who is my neighbor?”. Jesus responds with the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). He challenges us to see our neighbor as anyone in need. We are meant to be helping those who are suffering in any way, even if they are not people we would normally reach out to. The passage for today in Leviticus gives us the opportunity to examine what our faith tradition teaches us about showing hospitality to the immigrants and the vulnerable among us. This is as true today as it was for the Israelites.
Lord, you call us to love our neighbor. And while this may come easily to some, it can also be struggle for many across the globe. We ask you to help us to see our neighbors; to acknowledge their presence and their pain. Teach us to walk alongside foreigners; to see their needs and reach out to them. And finally, to guide us in ways to positively affect the ongoing migrant and refugee crisis.
Please help us to see others through Your eyes. May we follow the commands You give us; to love You and to love others as ourselves. We pray for the migrants, refugees, and all other strangers in our midst, that they may find strength in our concern for justice and feel the warmth in our love. Amen
Practical Reflection to Carry Into Your Day (one simple question):
How could I learn more about my neighbors? How might I become teachable while following Christ’s way?