“Who is my neighbor?” This is the question a lawyer asked of Jesus. It’s a question that has resonated throughout the ages. I feel that the current pandemic has broadened our understanding of how that question might be answered. One of the many lessons we have learnt in recent days is how closely our lives our entwined with others who we would never consider “neighbors.” We’ve discovered that an outbreak of the virus at a meatpacking plant in North Dakota can effect what we eat for Sunday lunch. And the workers at such plants, who are mostly low-paid immigrants, have been deemed “essential.”
One of my hopes for good things that might come out of this pandemic is a deeper appreciation of the bonds which bind us together and a deeper understanding of community; which flows out of a broader understanding of who can be counted as my neighbor.