LK 10: 25-37




In St. Pope Paul VI’s address at the end of the Second Vatican Council, he mentioned today’s Gospel, the gospel of the Good Samaritan as the model for the Church to become in the modern world. He envisioned a church that goes out to the world with compassion, availability and readiness to serve the suffering and the poor. That’s an immense challenge, but it was not his invention. It flows from the heart of Jesus himself.


We tend to think of the parable of the Prodigal Son as the gospel of mercy in miniature. However this parable of the Good Samaritan is another of Jesus’ powerful illustrations of how his disciples should behave with kindness, humility and mercy. It not only reveals Jesus’ own attitude and example but also his great challenge to all who follow him to go and do the same.


Today our world is wounded, afraid, and needy. So many people are suffering due to the effects of years of the pandemic. So many people are experiencing material and financial distress. And so many more are in the throes of interior suffering, unseen suffering but nevertheless real and gripping and crippling. People experience anguish in their minds, in their thoughts, in their feelings, in their hearts.


Jesus tells us through the parable today that it is not enough to have God in your heart. It is not enough to have God on your lips. It is not enough to have God in your mind. We must carry God in our actions towards those among us who are in need of our help. Those who passed by the dying man on the road were not bad people. Perhaps they had good reasons not to stop. Like other Jews, they too believed in and loved God.


But only the Samaritan put his love of God in his hands. He did not preach to the dying man. He simply expressed the faith in his heart through the care and compassion he showed. This proved that his love for God was real, active and effective. It is the same as the love of God for the world, as the love of Jesus for all of us he redeemed.


St. Francis de Sales once said: “It is a great evil to fail to do good.” Each day the Lord gives us the opportunity to express our love. Some of us do it through prayer. Some do it through good intentions and wishes. Some give a little alms or donation. But happy are those who go out of their way to imitate God in his goodness and show love through acts of compassion and caring. How do you manifest your love of God each day?