Monday, October 8, 2018
Today, in Mercy, our Gospel gives us the parable of the Good Samaritan. It is a story in which we can all find ourselves, maybe changing roles in the changing circumstances of our lives.
Have we ever been the robbers, the bullies, the outlaws who in some way used force or subterfuge to gain their own advantage? We don’t have to be a criminal to do this. We can do it by our prejudices, our preferential treatment, our secrets and our cliques. We can do it by our uninformed or willful choices which deprive others of their needs and rights.
Have we ever been the Levite, the one who claims a special religious place by family heritage? Have we ever, like the Levite in the parable, bypassed someone because of her religion or ethnic origins – because she isn’t “like us”?
Have we ever been this pathetic priest who so completely misunderstands the role of minister – who ignores God’s suffering creature for fear of some imagined contamination?
Have we ever been the victim, the one set upon by the meanness of others, the one unable to heal himself from injury? Has the memory made us more like the Samaritan or like the robbers once we were healed?
And finally, have we ever been the Samaritan? Do we even want to be? Or do we think him foolish to have given his own time and treasure for a stranger?
This parable is a study in differences and how we respond to them. Some use differences to separate rather than enrich their world. They fail to understand that we all belong to each other and will live forever as one family in heaven. If we don’t learn to do it in this life, we won’t be part of it in the life to come.
Realizing this may change how we might have responded on that ancient road – or the road right now where we’re all just walking each other home.
Music: Take All the Lost Home ~ Joe Wise