Our Gospel reading today is from Luke 10. It is the story of the Good Samaritan. Most people are familiar with the term “Good Samaritan,” if not the Bible story itself. A guy goes on a trip and gets mugged, left for dead on the side of the road. Two “holy” men walk right past him, going out of their way to avoid him. But a Samaritan, someone considered a lowlife and evil by the Jews, had mercy on the man and helped him. Jesus asks, “Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?” It is grudgingly acknowledged that the dreaded Samaritan was the one who did the right thing.
Funny thing, though, is that the scholar of the law could not even bring himself to say “Samaritan.” He replied, “The one who treated him with mercy.” Jesus’ response? “Go and do likewise.”
These words of Jesus are words for us to live by. Go and do likewise. Show mercy. Help the suffering. Commit acts of charity. If even someone you despise can do it, surely it is not too big a task for you.
Father, give us the grace to “go and do likewise,” to treat others with compassion and mercy. Amen.