Celebrating National Good Samaritan Day

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"Celebrating National Good Samaritan Day" by Kelly Guest (CatholicMom.com)

Photo (Detail of Rossano Gospels, 6th century Good Samaritan) by Jim Forest (2014) via Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Did you know that today is National Good Samaritan Day? Me either. Thank goodness I have The Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion to inform and inspire me! Yes, that was a shameless plug for our wonderful daily reflection book!

We are all familiar with the parable of the Good Samaritan. A man beaten and left for dead by a couple of no-good robbers was ignored by respected members of the Jewish community in Jesus’ time. Perhaps they were in a hurry; more likely, they wished to avoid ritual impurity by coming in contact with blood and possibly death (Lev.21:1-12 & Num. 5:2). The hero of the story was the despised Samaritan. He it was who stopped, nursed his supposed adversary’s wounds, and paid for his care until he was well again.

So, who are our adversaries? It could be a co-worker who can be difficult or does not cooperate so well. Our own children can act as adversaries when they behave in such a way that slows us down from getting done what we have to get done. Even our beloved spouse can at times become adversarial. How about the stranger who butted in front of you at the check-out line? Or the tailgater who eventually went around you only to cut you off? No doubt we come across adversaries in our everyday lives.

Today’s challenge is to not pass by the opportunity to help someone. We are called not only to endure inconveniences and disappointments, but to embrace them for love of Jesus who embraced the cross for love of us. Especially during Lent.

This goes beyond little random acts of kindness, which, no doubt, can be a wonderful part of National Good Samaritan Day. There is a cost involved in being a Good Samaritan, a sacrifice made for love of God and neighbor.

So, at work today, buy that co-worker a coffee or a snack from the vending machine, stick an encouraging note on it and place it at his desk. At the store on your way home, you could let someone in line in front of you. Or perhaps God will place you in line behind a dear elderly person who is buying only a few groceries that you could pay for yourself. Is there a homeless person that stands on the corner that you drive by every day? A happy meal with a little note inside assuring him of his dignity in God’s eyes would make him and our Lord happy indeed.

Tonight, let the pots and pans soak long enough to play a game with your young ones. Make a lunch with a special treat for your teen who is supposed to make her own lunch for school. Let the laundry sit for one more day, pop some popcorn after the children are in bed, cuddle up next to your husband on the couch and watch a movie of his choice. An impromptu date night will make him feel special; no doubt he is.

A little planning may be involved. The above are mere suggestions. Or perhaps God will place someone in your day who will unexpectantly need your help. Either way or both, do not allow the day, today, National Good Samaritan Day, go by without loving your neighbor as yourself.

At the end of the day, I will add in the comment box what act God inspired me to do. Please feel free to also share how you celebrated Good Samaritan Day. We post not to brag or seek praise, but to encourage one another and give ideas. After all, for us Christians, every day should be Good Samaritan Day.

Copyright 2017 Kelly Guest

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About Author

God has given Kelly lots of wonderful opportunities to follow Him. She was a Dominican Sister of St. Cecilia in Nashville, an education coordinator for a Catholic Charities' program for pregnant teens, a middle school teacher, a director of religious education and is now a youth minister. Her most challenging and rewarding calling, though, is wife and mother of ten children. What she has learned, she blogs at CatholicMom.com.

1 Comment

  1. So, not 10 minutes after my daughter left for school did she text saying she left her uniform at home. Usually, this causes a struggle within me – should I let them suffer the consequences of their forgetfulness and relax while saying my prayers in the morning or should I sacrifice some of my cherished sacred time and help them as I would want to be helped. This morning, as it was Good Samaritan day, I knew what to do. I ran up the uniform, then continued my prayer time. Later that afternoon, my son’s girlfriend called. My husband was going to pick her up after work from a job program interview, but she finished early. Rather than make her wait (which she was willing to do) and have my husband go out of his way (which he was willing to do), I ran up the beltway to get her. After all that running, tonight, I may try the popcorn and movie thing with my hubby!

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