Prayer – Give me a loving heart, O Lord, like your own.
Imagination (Picture Jesus with His disciples)
The lawyer’s question was common in Judaism, ‘How far must my charity extend? Who is within that circle?”
Jesus’ parable uses the usual set of three persons. Logically, after the priest and Levite, the third person should be a Jewish layperson. The story’s impact comes from the identity of the caregiver – a Samaritan, an enemy of Israel. He is the model disciple because love must embrace 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 a theoretical answer for his intellect.
- Instead, Jesus tells a story which pierces the heart. In the parable, the actions of the priest and Levite are unacceptable.
- The parable describes a disciple’s love – total, personal and with no reservations.
- His love embraces everyone – the poor, despised, helpless and even enemies.
- The example is highly vivid because the Samaritans received no love from the Israelites.
- This love is very practical. Jesus says, “Go and do likewise.”
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- O Lord, flood my heart with love and I will accept this river.
- Limitless – that is your love for me and it should be my love for you.
- All-embracing, that should be my willingness to serve the needy.
- O Jesus, change my heart. Change my heart. Change my heart.
- O Jesus, let me “go and do likewise”. Action, not theory makes me your disciple.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own)
- I will open my eyes and 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.”