Categories: HomiliesPublished On: July 10th, 2022Tags: , 562 words17 min read
Who Is the Good Samaritan?

Photo byMaya Reagan on Unsplash


Here are links to our readings for the day:

Who Is the Good Samaritan?

In the time of Jesus, the phrase a good Samaritan would have been an oxymoron. There is no such thing as a good Samaritan. Remember a couple of weeks ago. Jesus and His disciples were walking through Samaria on their way to Jerusalem. The Samaritans would not allow Jesus to stay with them. James and John were ready to call down fire on them. Now Jesus turns the tables, and we have good Samaritans? Something is about to happen.

It is good to put ourselves into the story. In Jewish culture if you touch a dead person, you are ritually unclean and you can not enter the temple. I suppose the priest and the Levite, good people, were in a hurry to get to the temple. Touching someone who even looks dead is not a good idea. We tend to rationalize our behaviors.

What if the priest were late to mass? Should he stop to help someone on the side of the road? Or what if the Eucharistic Minister is taking communion to the homebound? Would they stop to help someone in need? We are busy people, things to do, people to see.

The road from Jerusalem to Jericho is about twenty-five miles of winding twisting pathways. It has many convenient hiding places for the bandits. The Samaritan is in the wrong place. What is he doing traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho? If we were the police, we would ask the Samaritan why he is on this road. Could it be possible that he was also a bandit?

But when he saw the man who needed help, did he have a change of heart? This parable leads to other questions. We are told the Samaritan takes the injured man to the inn. Again, we are not in Samaria. That means there would have been a Jewish person in charge at the inn. Why would the innkeeper want to help the Samaritan? Did the innkeeper see the good deed the Samaritan was attempting to do, and the innkeeper had a change of heart too?

The innkeeper trusted the Samaritan with money. The Samaritan promised to pay for any additional charges and the innkeeper agreed to take care of the injured man. And what about the other people at the inn? The other guests, what did they think? The people who prepared the food, what did they think?

This made me wonder. Sometimes in this parable of the Good Samaritan we are quick to see ourselves as the Samaritan. Maybe we are not the Samaritan. Maybe Jesus is the Samaritan. The injured person is you and I. We are the ones who need healing. Jesus is the one who binds our wounds and carries us to the inn.

Could the inn represent the Church? Then the people at the inn would be you and I in the Church. Jesus leaves us the wounded, the broken, the lame for us to heal and take care of their needs. And Jesus says He will return to settle accounts.

Bring your pains and brokenness to the altar. Allow Jesus to bind up your injuries.

May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen