Harbor the Harborless!

Luke 10:33-34

But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion, and went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

We are made for a place.  To belong to somebody is to belong somewhere.  This is true even of very mobile families (such as military families) and of nomadic peoples, such as Bedouin.  To have a place is not necessarily to have a fixed location.  A child is always on the move, but a child's movements have a place — in orbit around Mommy and Daddy.  So there's a difference between place and location.  Location is just a point on a mathematical grid.  Place is anywhere a relationship exists.  The good Samaritan refused to deny his relationship to the suffering man.  In so doing, he created a place for him where a moment before he had been just a victim located next to a highway. Risky? Yes. But it also an act at the heart of mercy.

Mark Shea


Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog and regularly blogs for National Catholic Register. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.

Subscribe to CE
(It's free)

Go to Catholic Exchange homepage

  • Guest

    Well said, Mark. A very wise colonel once gave me similar advice about the frequent moves that accompany military life…”Keep your family strong,” he said, “and your family will always have a home, even in a foreign land.”