Dear brothers and sisters,
The parable of the Good Samaritan is so familiar to us that we often see only one of its dimensions. The dimension we tend to focus on is its presentation of a model for us to imitate. Jesus finishes the parable by saying “Go and do likewise.” In that sense, it is a crystal clear explanation of the great commandment, “love your neighbor as yourself.” If we strive to follow it, we will without a doubt live a worthy, meaningful, and fruitful life. Today the Church reminds us that we should be striving to follow it – but this parable also has another dimension. The Good Samaritan is, above all, a self-portrait of Jesus and what Jesus has done for us - for the human family as a whole, and for each of us individually. We were like the man left on the side of road to die. Each of us has been robbed of our original holiness by original sin. Our selfishness and sins, and the sins of others, have deeply wounded our souls. We lay on the side of life's path in need of a Savior. We have been bruised and broken and wounded by life in a fallen world. In his incarnation, Jesus comes to us like the Good Samaritan. He is the merciful Lord who heals and restores us with the oil and wine of his sacraments, who pays for our salvation with his own sacrifice on the cross at Calvary, who entrusts the boundless riches of his grace to his own innkeeper, the Church, who in turn watches over our convalescence, our growth into Christian maturity, until Jesus will come again. If Jesus commands us to be Good Samaritans to one another, it’s only because he has walked the path ahead of us.