The Parable of the Good Samaritan
One Jew, a lawyer, desiring to justify himself since the Jews considered
"their neighbours" to be only Jews and all others to be held in contempt asked Jesus Christ, "And who is my neighbour?"
In order to teach people to consider every other person as their neighbour, no matter who he might be of
whatever nationality, or descent, or belief; and also that we must be compassionate and merciful to all people, doing what
we can to help those in need and misfortune, Jesus Christ answered him with a parable.
"A man (a Jew) was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers who stripped him and
beat him, and departed leaving him half-dead. Now by chance, a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed
by on the other side, So likewise a Levite (a Jewish church official), when he came to the place and saw him, he passed by
on the other side."
"But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was (The Jews despised the Samaritans so much that they
would not have sat at the same table with them and even tried to avoid speaking to them). When the Samaritan saw him covered
with wounds, he had compassion on him. He went to him and bound up his wounds pouring on them oil and wine. Then, he set him
on his own beast and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii (denarius
was a Roman silver coin) and gave them to the innkeeper saying, 'Take care of him; whatever more you spend, I repay you when
I come back."
Then, Jesus Christ asked the lawyer, "Which of these three do you think was a neighbour to the man fell
among the robbers?"
The lawyer replied, "the one who showed mercy on him (that is, the Samaritan)."
And Jesus Christ said to him, "Go and do likewise."
Note: See the Gospel of Luke 10:29-37
Are we neighbours ? or do we pass "on the other side"?
There are many people suffering in various parts of the world in the physical and the spiritual sense.
Maybe they are far away ("on the side"), so we don't see them, but they are suffering. So, what do we say to them?... Is
your parish like the "priest going down the road?" Do we see and act? or Do we see and pass on the other side?
And as individuals, each day we come across Christ, how will we act to Christ?
"God does not wish Christians to be concerned only for themselves but also to edify others, not simply
through their teachings but through their lifestyle and the way they live it."
"You who are strong, help the weak. You who are rich, help the poor. You who stand upright, help the fallen
and the crushed. You who are joyful, comfort those in sadness. You who enjoy all good fortune, help those who have met with
disaster. Give something in thanksgiving to God that you are of those who can give help, and not of those who stand and wait
St. Gregory of Nazianzus
... Send your treasures to the heavenly storage room. Deposit your wealth in God's Bank, distributing it
to the poor, the orphans and the widows, so that you can receive a million times more in the second coming of Christ...
Elder Joseph the Hesychast
“The bread which you do not use is the bread of the hungry; the garment hanging in your wardrobe is
the garment of him who is naked; the shoes that you do not wear are the shoes of the one who is barefoot; the money that you
keep locked away is the money of the poor; the acts of charity that you do not perform are so many injustices that you commit.”
St. Basil the Great
All right, you cannot give away all your belongings. Then give half, or a third, or a fifth. Is even this
too heavy? Then give one tenth. Can you do that? Is it still too heavy?
“How about this. Don’t
sell yourself as a slave. Don’t give a penny to the poor. Only do this. Don’t take your poor brother’s coat,
don’t take his bread, don’t persecute him, don’t eat him alive. If you don’t want to do him any good,
at least do him no harm. Just leave him alone. Is this also too heavy?”
“You say you want to be saved. But how? How can we be saved if everything
we are called to do is too heavy? We descend and descend until there is no place further down. God is merciful, yes, but he
also has an iron rod.”
St. Cosmas of Aetolia