The Good Samaritan
The priest and the Levite, both upright privileged people considered favoured by God, leave the unfortunate man in the ditch. Only the Samaritan, one of a group of people generally despised by many Jewish people of the time, offered any assistance. And it was no mere prayer or well wish. He went out of his way, cared for the victim, bandaged him, carried him, and paid for his stay at the equivalent of a hotel.
Sometimes those who need to be helped want help on their own terms. But today’s gospel is a reminder that to those in the ditch, help may come from the unforeseen or even unimaginable people. When we place limitations on even such things as who might lend us help or assistance, we might not be open to the mercy of God, which is extended in a variety of ways. Though this parable of the Good Samaritan is often read to mean we should be neighbourly and act mercifully, it can also be read in a way so that we are open to receive mercy and kindness from others, no matter who they might be. Jesus invites us to move beyond ourselves in moments of crisis and to be open to mercy from wherever it might come. In doing so, we die to our own preconceived notions and live anew with an openness broader than we had before. For if we in the ditch are not willing to see the Samaritan as a neighbour, and accept his act of mercy, we will surely die in that same ditch. Living Liturgy 2019©
Download full newsletter hereNewsletter 14 July 2019