In Paul's letter to the Galations 5:14, Jesus helped make the law simple in saying, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." As one who walked among us, Jesus looked out for his neighbor, and seems to spread that message to us as well.
In today's Gospel, Luke 9:51-62, we find that Jesus does not want to "call down fire" from the heavens as the his disciples suggest when the Samaritan town was unwelcoming, but rather journey peacefully on. Jesus loved his neighbor...
|Love your neighbor as yourself...|
As they journeyed, Jesus asked others to "follow me" including one person who wanted to go first and bury his father. Jesus' answer to this man is interesting, "Let the dead bury their dead. But you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God." While it sounds a bit heartless, perhaps at second glance it is not. Jesus seems to know what this man's gift is, it lies in proclaiming the kingdom. It would seem unlikely that Jesus would do anything less than want the best for another; to love his neighbor as demonstrated by his peaceful action in the Samaritan town. Perhaps for this man he saw a lifeless situation. Perhaps instead he wanted freedom from a bad situation and he knew that following him and helping him discover his gift of proclamation with the disciples could provide him the life he deserved.
Sometimes on life's journey we find people who seem to be in lifeless situations, and of course we want the best for them; to love them as we love ourselves, to help them find their gifts and pursue them. Perhaps the way to do this is to help them find a better path on this journey of life. To help them find someone new to emulate. Perhaps offering to love them and to free them, is in fact the way to help them find and follow the way of Jesus.