November 26, 2019
By Mark Piper, Mercy Associate
From the Rite of Baptism: You have asked to have your child baptized. In doing so, you are accepting the responsibility of training him/her in the practice of the faith. It will be your duty to bring him/her up to keep God’s commandments as Christ taught us, by loving God and our neighbor [emphasis my own]. Do you clearly understand what you are undertaking? Who is your neighbor?
First, brush up on the Parable of the Good Samaritan and Jesus’ explanation of who is a neighbor and what being neighborly looks like. CliffsNotes: a neighbor is any person, no matter how far removed from your “in group” they are. Being neighborly requires mercy-ing.
Second, a partial list of who your neighbors are at the Thanksgiving table: The cousin who slinks away to the basement, the relatives who speak more loudly and often than they ought, the shy guest, the drunkard, the person who wants to bait you into political screeds, and the teenager who refuses to say grace. All of your family, their friends, or significant others, whatever history or adjectives you assign to them—at this celebration, they are your neighbors, and through our baptism we have promised to love them. All of them.Read More