The Good Samaritan
Fr Paul reads today’s Gospel from Luke (10:25-37) in which a lawyer asks Jesus ‘Who is my neighbour?’
To many of the Jews, like this lawyer, who Jesus was speaking with, there is no such thing as a good Samaritan. It is simply a contradiction in terms. We even notice that the lawyerm at the very end of the Gospelm cannot even bring himself to say the word ‘Samaritan’; he is just referred to as ‘the one’.
The robbery we hear depicted in today’s Gospel occurred in the Wadi Qelt, which is a ravine just north of Jerusalem towards Jericho. It is an actual place. It is an ideal place, with all its twists and turns, for an ambush.
We hear of the priest and the Levite who, we need to understand, according to the rituals and customs of the time, would be deemed unclean if they touched the corpse. Being ritually unclean, they would be unable to carry out their sacred duties. Jesus contrasts this with the Samaritan, who is free of any such hang-ups.
For the writer of Luke, a major theme throughout the Gospel is love being shown to the unfortunate and downtrodden. It is also interesting to note that even with love and support shown, the Samaritan is still very careful with his funds. He gives two days’ wages; it is not a blank cheque.
For our reflection today and mindful of the means that are at our disposal, Fr Paul invites us to challenge ourselves with the question, ‘What can I do to help others around me at this time?’