Monday of the Twenty-SeventhWeek in Ordinary Time
The good samaritan
There was a scholar of the law … 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.” Lk 10,25-37
The one which goes from Jerusalem to Jericho is the road of the life. A few years ago, when we visited the Holy Land, we hiked all along this road also stopping at the inn of the Good Samaritan. On that sunny road, where a tree does not exist under the shade of which to stop for a while to rest, ideally the all of us we walk there and we meet thereby. Pass the men who go about their business; pass the robbers who attack and plunder; pass the people involved as the priests and the levites of the today passage, who, having important things to do, do not stop for anything and for someone; and pass even the good samaritans who, despite their commitments, find the time to stop if they encounter someone in need of rescue. Although we are not part of the category of the robbers, we risk to belong to that of the priest and of the levite, who, having to go to the temple to take, perhaps, some lessons on the solidarity, do not find the time to stop to help that poor man lying on the road. A few years ago, this parable suggested us to enter into politics, trying to do something in order to make the roads of the life a bit less infested by bandits, but this has not been a good experience and we went out soon enough. But being back to the initial question of the doctor of the law “And who is my neighbor?” to which Jesus answers with another question: “Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?”, thereafter he added: ‘Go and do likewise”, that “you” is addressed to the all of us, to every man of goodwill.