Prayer: O Jesus, you are my good Samaritan and I am wounded along the way.
Imagination: (Picture Jesus gathered with his disciples and teaching the lawyer.)
The lawyer asked a common question in Judaism, “How far must my charity extend? Who is within that circle?” Jesus uses the priest and the Levite who pass by to lead up to the Samaritan. The story’s impact comes from the identity of the caregiver, a Samaritan hated by the Jews. He is the model disciple because his love embraces the whole world.
Gospel text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
A lawyer asked Jesus, “What must I do to gain eternal life?” Jesus replied, “What is written in the law?” He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”
Jesus said, “You have answered correctly. Do this and you shall live.” But, he, wishing to justify himself asked, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus answered, “A man going down from Jerusalem to Jericho fell among robbers who stripped him, wounded him and left him half dead.
A certain priest going the same way, saw him and passed by. Also, a Levite came near, saw him and passed by. However, a Samaritan on his journey came near, saw him and was moved with compassion. Approaching, he bound up his wounds, poured on oil and wine, put him on his beast, brought him to the inn and took care of him. The next day he gave the host two pence and said, “Take care of him and I will repay you on my return”.
Which of these, in your opinion, was neighbor to the man?” He replied, “The one who showed mercy”. Jesus said, “Go and do likewise”.
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- The lawyer wanted to distance himself from those in need.
- In the parable, this “distancing” by the priest and Levite is unacceptable.
- The Samaritans received no love from the Israelites. Therefore, this example is highly vivid.
- The highest love comes from someone who has been hated.
- A true disciple’s love is total, personal and with no reservations.
- This love embraces everyone – the poor, despised, helpless and even enemies.
- This love is practical. Jesus says, “Go and do likewise”.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- O Lord, flood my heart with the river of your love.
- Help me to draw close to everyone.
- Jesus, make my love for you and others limitless.
- Give me a heart that embraces everyone.
- O Jesus, change my heart. Change my heart. Change my heart.
- O Jesus, I will “go and do likewise”. Only practicing love makes me your disciple.
Resolution: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
- I will see how limited is my present love.
- I will see Christ in all those who have needs.
Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)
“Take care of him and I will repay you.”