The Good Samaritan (Lk 10:25-37)
The question asked to Jesus was: “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” The question was about a goal regarding eternity. Jesus replied: Have the ultimate goal in mind and love God, who is the end of everything. At the same time, until we live on here on earth, be ready to pay attention to the immediate goals to be achieved; that is, to love those around us or reach out to those who need our mercy and love. Do not avoid them. Jesus invites us to love God above all and to love our neighbour as we love ourselves. Normally, there is hardly anyone who can love or care for others as one loves and cares for oneself. Therefore, the answer needed clarification and another question was asked, “who is my neighbour?” Until now, a fellow Israelite was a neighbour. All others were considered as enemies who needed to be shown no pity. It was more of a question of survival. Jesus teaches his audience to look beyond the earthly barriers created by man and to see what God expects of everyone and presents a beautiful parable of a Samaritan who went out of his way to serve an Israelite who fell in the hands of a robber and needed immediate attention.
The priest and the Levite seeing his fellow Israelite dying avoided him purposely for fear of ritual impurity as they were going to the Temple. On the other hand, the Samaritan could have rejoiced seeing the fate of an Israelite who adamantly kept the Samaritans away from worshipping in the Jerusalem temple. He deserved no pity from a Samaritan. However, it is at this point that we see the phrase: “he was moved with pity” and bandaged the wounds, poured oil and wine on them, and put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. He spent the whole night with him in the inn; and the next day as he had to travel ahead asks the innkeeper to “take care of him” and gives him two denarii and agrees to pay more on his return. He loves the injured Israelite as his own and did everything possible to save his life. This is the invitation of our Lord to the audience: “love your neighbour as you love yourself” (Go and do likewise).
Moved by the story, one might ask: “how can I be a good Samaritan?” The answer lies in one’s own attitude to the needy in and around us. On the one hand, we can be indifferent. We can be negligent and insensitive towards the needy. On the other hand, we can forget our priorities and place the neighbour’s needs more important than ours like the good Samaritan. Amidst Covid-19 pandemic thousands of doctors, nurses, paramedical staff, and health workers have risked their lives to save the other. There are many neighbours who provide for the needs of their neighbours who are affected by Covid-19. There are good Samaritans who take the sick to the hospital and do everything possible to be of help to the Covid patients. However, there are also some who locked their gates and bolted their doors and closed even the roads to deny even the basic access to the nearby hospitals and were left to die in the streets. We can either behave like the priest and the Levite or be another good Samaritan at this time of Pandemic.
We are going to celebrate the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, who poured out even the last drop of his blood from his pierced heart to wash away the sins of humanity. He sacrificed his life to save many from eternal damnation. He was moved with pity for Man and carried the burden of the sin of humanity upon his shoulders and died on the Cross. He paid a price through his blood to redeem us and to manifest the warmth of his heart. The good Samaritan spent his life on earth doing good to everyone. He continues to invite all that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens to find rest in his heart which is meek and humble. He gave his heart to us as he breathed his last. Let us learn from the heart of Jesus to give life to those who are struggling in this world amidst the pandemic. May the good Samaritan wash us with his most precious blood and keep us safe in his most compassionate heart. Amen!
Pentecost was the moment of this first outpouring of his Spirit on the Apostles who were chosen by Jesus to spread his message of salvation to the whole world. Those who hear the message and believe in it may have eternal life (cf. Jn 3:16; 20:31). Those who refuse to believe in him are condemned (cf. Jn 3:18). May this Pentecost bring again the outpouring of God’s Spirit on all of us. May God’s Spirit renew every heart and mind to become the messengers of hope and life to this world gasping for breath. May God breathe into us his lifegiving Spirit. Amen!