We recently heard the Gospel about the Good Samaritan. Everyone knows the story for the most part right? (Luke 10:25-37) A common reaction is a gooey, warm feeling inside as we ponder the compassion of that long ago Samaritan. Wouldn’t we all want a chance to be a Good Samaritan too?
I believe in reality that this opportunity presents itself everyday in a myriad of ways, right in front of our faces. No, it is not as dramatic as we hear in the parable and perhaps that is why we do not notice it. Are we vigilant to the possibility is the question.
Naturally this line of thinking leads me to the reading on Jonah, the big fish story. (Jonah 1:1-2: 2, 11) Again, we know the story. Maybe the word “know” is too intense? We recall the story. I know I have listened to it more than sixteen times, just counting at Mass. Yet today I hear it ever new, and in conjunction with this Gospel.
How many of us are like Jonah? God sends us to do His work; we ditch the job and head in the opposite direction? You know what I mean; work that He calls us to purposefully, work uniquely deemed for us. We often get scared, high tale it and run.
Jonah is asked to “preach against Nineveh.” God wants to save Nineveh from destruction. How many times have we remained silent and ran away from saving our brothers and sisters from ruin? Those are the ways, I think, that we are to be the Good Samaritans of our time. People are in desperate need of our help, our love, and our voice which should echo what God wishes. God desires for us ALL to be saved, to be with Him in paradise for eternity. We are here to do His good works, spread His love, speak a word that revives, reminds, reprimands…so that others may come to know the truth and authentic happiness which is possible with Christ in their lives.
Servant of God Madeline Delbrel writes, “Like any reasonable human being, the Christian sees his life, from his birth to his death, as a continual coming to be, accompanied by a continual passing away… he will remain what he has become in and for eternity. We fashion the immortal being we are through our choices. Through our choices we bring the man in us to the fullness of life or to the worst of human suffering. At the hour of his death each human being has become either a person who will live with God forever, or who will be without God forever… love God more than anything else, and to love him, you will love others as yourself. It is impossible to love God without loving humanity. The ultimate usefulness of the world lies in the use man chooses to make of it…the world is at man’s disposal; the world must be used by each one for the benefit of all. The choices that determine a person’s action are the most powerful capacity a person has of having an effect on the world. “
How will we use our choices today and every day? Will we run towards what God asks of us, putting all fear aside and trusting that He will equip us for the task? Or, will we choose to run away remaining apathetic or fearful? Our choices “are the most powerful capacity” we have for making changes happen. Our lives can have a positive or negative effect on humanity.
Look, listen and act.
Act, it is short for action. God is calling us to action, by being His Presence and saving grace in the world. We are all given a chance at being that Good Samaritan; let’s save ourselves a whole lot of fish trouble and walk boldly with love and compassion towards God’s will.