We are called, happily, and yet again, to ponder the Parable of the Good Samaritan!
We love to talk about the Good Samaritan.
Increasingly, and strangely in our so-called secular societies, sometimes here, more often elsewhere, even politicians invoke the parable and urge citizens to be Good Samaritans. One of the homegrown Australian Religious orders for women is called ‘The Good Samaritans’ founded in 1857 in Sydney and modelled on the Benedictine rule.
Whilst attention is often focussed on the Priest or the Levite and their actions, others like to remember the role of the Innkeeper or even the donkey. Some link the role of the donkey to that same animal that carried Jesus into Jerusalem.
G.K Chesterton wrote a great poem about ‘The Donkey’.
Explore what suits you at the time, but don’t overlook the Samaritan.
I sometimes ponder how Jesus got away with this parable.
Imagine a Russian travelling to Kyiv, falling to robbers, and a Ukrainian, all others passing by on the other side, stops to assist…
We have plenty of evidence in the Scriptures that Jews and Samaritans did not like one another, to put it mildly.
In some sense, the parable though told years before Paul began to unpack the essence of Christianity, his words today fit the implication of “Before anything was created, he existed, and he holds all things in unity”.
Yes, the parable is about “the ethical imperative of overcoming said divisions” (Nick Spencer, The Political Samaritan”).
It seems to me; such is a role of the Church, and that challenge was on show at the plenary council this week!
Thankfully we have seen this year, hundreds of “donkeys” carrying millions of wounded refugees to safety, not without difficulty, and a seeming willingness to dip into pockets and contribute towards their wellbeing.
Long may the spirit of the Good Samaritan live amongst us!