The Good Samaritan

This weekend we hear the familiar story of the Good Samaritan and a lawyer asking, “who is my neighbor?” The challenging part of this parable and Gospel is that we have heard it so many times. We are quick to cast a judgement and relate it to our lives. Yes, we all aspire to be the Good Samaritan and need to stretch ourselves to be the ones who stop along the way. My quick response when I reflected on these readings was, how can I challenge myself to not play it safe and not to be too busy, tired, overwhelmed, preoccupied, and continue on my way when I see someone in need?

This challenge is true, but with further reflection, what if we place ourselves in the role of the person who was injured on the side of the road? Many of us have experienced crushing defeat and despair at some point in our lives and can relate to this man. Is there a person, or group of people, that we would not want to help us? Remember in the parable Jesus is referring to groups of people who despise one another (Israelites and Samaritans). Who would we need to be humbled by and appreciative of if they stopped to help? Would we reach out to any hand that offered help or would we be too proud and reject that assistance thinking we can handle it ourselves, especially if we hate them? Yes, we need to stop and help those in need along the way, but we need to start with ourselves and dissolve the hate and/or pride within to be accepting of help from all.