Am I My Brother’s Keeper?




By Fr. Aldo –

During World War II the Nazis murdered more than six million Jews and millions of non-Jews.

Pastor Martin Neilmoller was a Protestant minister in Germany and he describes what happened during the war. He says, “First, the Nazis went after the Jews, but I was not a Jew, so I did not object.

Then they went after the Catholics, but I was not a Catholic, so I did not object.

Then they went after the trade unionists, but I was not a member of the trade union, so I did not object.

Then they came after me, and there was no one left to object.”

There is an old saying that goes like this, “We don’t pay attention when somebody else’s ox is being stolen.”

More often than we realize, our only concern is looking out for ourselves and our own wellbeing.

Pastor Neilmoller admitted that throughout this whole dirty business of the Nazis (in Germany) his unspoken refrain was, “It’s none of my business.”

In today’s gospel (Luke 10:25-37) the priest and the Levite, among other excuses, might have said, “It’s none of my business.” Recently my fellow priest had his cellular phone stolen from his bag in the sacristy while he was celebrating the Eucharist. Having realized that he had been robbed he approached the person in charge of the sacristy and commented: “I thought you would watch over my bag while I was in the Mass!” The sacristan’s reply was quick: “That’s not my business.”

When Cain killed his brother Abel, and God asked Cain where his brother was, Cain answered, “I don’t know, am I my brother’s keeper?”

Yes, we are our brother’s keeper. The priest and the Levite hadn’t learned that lesson, but the Samaritan, a foreigner, had.

No person is an island, no person stands alone. Each person’s joy is my joy, each person’s grief is my grief. We need one another. Each person is my brother, my sister; each man or woman is my friend.

Any human person’s death diminishes me, because I am part of this humanity. This is the kind of consciousness that Xaverian Missionaries commit to continue propagating:  we are one world, one family, all brothers and sisters responsible for each other.

One Comment:

  1. Thanks Fr. Aldo. I like the story of the Nazis. And the good Samaritan story of this coming sunday`s gospel asking who is my neighbour?

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