We encounter the Samaritans for the third time in as many weeks. Coincidence or perhaps deliberate by whoever organised the liturgical readings.
Some might say that we could enshrine, “oh, be a Good Samaritan” into our language. There is a recent book named, I think, ‘The Political Samaritan’ which seeks to uncover how this story has influenced high places over the years. And not only high places.
Our current Pope is seeking to make our Church more missionary, in outlook and in fact. Not necessarily asking us to rush off to distant places and stand in the village square to immediately ram down the locals throats the gift of Jesus, but to open eyes to our current reality and ask “Why is that person lying on the road and no one is helping?”. One great truth of the parable is that most of the listeners in the story would not have criticised the Levite or the Priest. They were obeying the Law. They were protecting their status, and their faith. When the lawyer responded with the teaching, “You must Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind” let alone, “and your neighbour as yourself”, the penny did not drop. Samaritans were not neighbours.
Jesus is in effect saying …”Look at your Laws.” And he may be well saying the same to us today: canonically and civilly!
The lawyer moved a little and replied, “The one who took pity on him”. But the Samaritan “was moved with compassion”. Conversion has begun but is not completed.
So for ourselves. Let us all be “Good Samaritans”. Not simply because the concept is good. But because people are more important than laws, actions speak louder than words, and pity may bring bandages, but compassion will overcome the evil that reduces the wounded person to an inconvenient object.
Be a true “Good Samaritan”.