The Gospel according to Luke (10:25-37)
There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test Jesus and said, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read it?” He said in reply, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” He replied to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.” But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man fell victim to robbers as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead. A priest happened to be going down that road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. Likewise a Levite came to the place, and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight. He approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them. Then he lifted him up on his own animal, took him to an inn, and cared for him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction, ‘Take care of him. If you spend more than what I have given you, I shall repay you on my way back.’ Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?” He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
Reflection: Here we have the conclusion to the familiar story of the Good Samaritan. First, robbers beat him and left him for dead. Then a priest walked by and ignored him. Now the priest isn’t a bad man in fact he is probably doing good work here on earth, but he is too busy to see the need before him. He turns the “Blind eye”. And then a Levite walked by also ignoring the man who is in dire need of help. The Levite is a very busy man too. Who is trying to survive by providing for his family and juggling work, so he too falls to the need to see and has no vision. Finally, the Samaritan walked by and took care of him with great generosity. The Samaritan was just as busy as the other two men but how was it that he was able to see the need of this beaten man? Well, he had the vision and the ability to see the need to care for this man. He not only addressed the need by giving him a coin, but he also cared for him, took him to the inn, and returned to make sure he was OK. The Good Samaritan truly cared for the man who was broken. Ask yourself, how many times have you had the vision to recognize someone in need? Did you ignore it? Act as though you were too busy and didn’t have time? It makes me wonder how many times did I NOT have the vision to assist somebody?
Interestingly, when Jesus asked the disciples which of these three acted as a neighbor, they didn’t respond “the Samaritan.” Rather, they responded, “The one who treated him with mercy.” Mercy was the key focus.
It is so easy to be judgmental and harsh with one another in our world and culture. If you read the newspapers or listen to the news / media, you can’t help but hear continual judgment and condemnation. Our fallen human nature seems to thrive on being critical of others. We are often tempted to act like the priest and Levite in this story. We are tempted to turn a blind eye to those in need. The key must be to always show mercy and show it in abundance.
Pray upon the call God gives you to show mercy. Mercy, in order to be true mercy, must hurt. It must “hurt” in the sense that it requires you to let go of your pride, selfishness and anger and choose to show love instead. You choose to show love to the point that it hurts. But that hurt is a true source of healing in that it cleanses you of your sin. Saint Mother Teresa is quoted as saying, “I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.” Mercy is the kind of love that may hurt at first, but in the end leaves only love.
Action of the Day: Pray today that God will grant you the wisdom to see someone in need. Pray that He removes your “Blind Eye”. And pray that he gives you the love and compassion to do what is right in His eyes.