The Parable of the Merciful Samaritan

And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?  He said unto him, What is written in the law? How readest thou?  And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.  And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.  But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?  And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.  And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?  And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise. (Luke 10:25-37)

In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.

Today’s Gospel in short, contains everything which is the way of the Christian. The first commandment is that we should love our God with all our heart, with all our mind, with all our strength, with all our being, and our neighbour as ourselves. To love means to prefer all that is dear to the beloved person, to what is dear to us. To love God means that we should live, and indeed be such that He could rejoice in what we are, that there should be nothing alien to Him in our lives.

And here comes the second commandment, which the lawyer did not understand: that we should love our neighbour as ourselves. To love again our neighbour, forgetting ourselves. Very often we think that we are worthy Christians if we feel that we have in our hearts a warmth, that we love God. But this is not enough. The test of this love is to share God’s own love for every one of our neighbours. I remember a sad moment in my own life, when my father asked me: what was the dream of my life? I was young then, and I said, ‘To be with God alone.’ And he looked sadly at me and said, ‘You have not begun to be a Christian.’ Because if we love God we must share with Him all His concerns for the whole world and for each person in this world.

Let us, therefore, take this short event in the life of Christ and the parable as a rule. We will never be able to know how much we love God. It is difficult, because it is so easy to delude oneself. Even when we say that we love someone, a moment may come when selfishness, indifference, a quarrel may make an end, at least for a time, to our mutual friendship and closeness. But there is a criterion which is objective. How do you treat your neighbour? What does he mean to you? If he means nothing, if he is a passer-by, if he is only someone in your way, or if he is someone to whom you can pay attention when you are in the right mood, then we have not begun to love God and to love the world together with Him. Let us therefore think of it, ask ourselves pertinent questions, and redress our lives. Amen.

Source: Metropolitan  Anthony Library


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