JULY 10, 2022

Is this the best story ever written!
Because we know it so well, we may gloss over it. It challenges us on many levels – the inclusiveness of everyone as our neighbour; the way we can pass by human needs, and how the most rejected people can respond positively.
It is a story of how many of us miss tragedy under our noses, and how many suffer because of the cruelty of others.
It’s mainly a story to ask us to respond as positively as we can to all human need.

It also points to the person who told the story. Jesus could tell this story because he was the good Samaritan himself. His heart went out to those who were suffering most at the hands of others. He could tell it also because he knew what it was like to be an outcast – rejected by his own people, and in danger all the time of being victimised even to death like this man at the side of the road.

He brings it farther also – saying that the commandment of God is seen in the way the good Samaritan responded. The second great commandment is to love the neighbour, and the neighbour is the one of any colour, nationality, age or family.

We can ask who are the ones thrown to the side of the road today? The former prisoner, the asylum seeker and refugee, the forgotten young person, the addict, among others. All can be helped to their feet and to carry on in life through the help and care of another.

The final words to take from the gospel today are simple yet difficult – ‘go and do the same yourself.’

Lord, may I go and do the same myself.

Donal Neary S.J.