A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke 10:25-37
25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]”
28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
REFLECTION: But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.
The Samaritans and the Jews were sworn enemies. Of all the people who would be compassionate to the Jewish man, it should have been the priest or the Levite but they both passed by on the other side. The Good Samaritan in this parable is Jesus. The fallen man is humanity . The thief is the devil, taking away man's relationship with God , robbing man of his immortality and wounding him in hopes that he will die. The Levite and the priest are the old covenant, unable to save man. But Jesus, the son of God, takes compassion on the man, and cleans his wounds and takes him and pays for his stay in the inn. The inn is the Church where Jesus takes man for continued healing, reception of his love and companionship. (teachings from St Augustine and St. Bede)
We are made in the image and likeness of God and through our Baptism we have become children of God. We are asked by God to be Christ to others and when we see a needy person, we have to stop and spend time with them, with the same love and tenderness that Jesus gives to us. And when the lawyer asked Jesus, "Now who is my neighbor? -- the answer is whoever we happen to come across in our daily trek. We are responsible for the soul of our neighbor and we are responsible to do penance, pray and sacrifice for all souls needing to heal from their brokenness.
And what exactly are the ailments.... loneliness, abandonment, jealousy, fear, despair, ignorance, stubbornness, homelessness, hunger, or unemployment. What can the treatment be--sometimes, there is not much that we can do, but we can sit and keep the wounded company , we can help with groceries, help with clothing, share God's love with them, smile and be there when they need you. But let us not forget our immediate neighbor--our family. We tend to do so much outside of our home, not realizing that many in our family are wounded and we don't appreciate it because we are so busy being compassionate to the outside world. As St. Mother Teresa says, " If you really love one another, you will not be able to avoid making sacrifices."
PRAYER : Dearest Lord, let me see you in every person I meet. Give me the grace to tend to the needs of your people , my brothers and sisters. Amen