Today’s Gospel: Luke 10:25-37
Sometimes I think the Samaritan had it easy. Cleaning the wounds of an unconscious victim seems less daunting than reaching out to an annoying or hurtful person.
Samaritans were mistrusted and seen as unclean because they accepted and lived peacefully with the Gentiles. Jews travelling to Jerusalem to worship would add extra miles to an already arduous walking journey in order to avoid touching the ground in Samaria. Can you imagine?
Yet, we all want to be the Samaritan. We are indignant about the Levite and the priest who cross to the other side of the road and walk away. We think we are better than that. We want to be compassionate and merciful. Heal wounds. Serve others. Love our neighbors. Do we?
What about someone who hurt your feelings? Someone who lost your trust? A high-maintenance friend? A difficult relative? A lonely or depressed person? The nosy neighbor? A person with a need? Someone who hurt your ego with questioning or honesty? Someone with questionable morals? An unpleasant personality? Someone who is always asking for a favor?
Thankfully, most of us do not come upon someone beaten on the side of the road. We face far less visible wounds. We come upon wounds of hurt, loneliness, hatred, disgust, and impatience. Who do you avoid? How far do you go to avoid what you don’t understand? Have you ever changed your path to avoid seeing someone?
When we really consider what Samaritan did, it is radical. Being like the Samaritan means stepping into shoes of someone who is despised by society but willing to allow God to use them for good. It is a road less travelled for no self-gain – just love. The Samaritan exemplifies humility, mercy and social justice, knowing he was the social outcast. Be radical.
Who are you in this story? The priest, so caught up in ‘godly’ duties that he ignores the duty of mercy right in his path? The Levite so caught up in the ‘rules’ and social order that misses the true need in front of him? How often are you the outcast Samaritan, choosing to do good, without recognition or reward?
Dear Lord, You call us to release ourselves of social norms and do what is right and just. Help me to recognize the right path. Move me to step off the road, show empathy, demonstrate mercy and heal wounds even when it’s uncomfortable or humbling. Amen.
Copyright 2017 Lisa Connor
Lisa Connor and her husband, Mike, are the parents of five children, ages 8-17. She volunteers in a Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program each school year. She was blessed to take a break from work as a chemist and strategist fifteen years ago to focus on being a mom. In her spare time, she reads profusely, dabbles in writing, loves to garden and contributes to various kid projects and activities. Future plans may involve a second career in teaching, depending on what God has planned.
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