From the Deacon’s Desk 7/14/19
Our Gospel today from Luke 10:25 – 30 is the story of the Good Samaritan. We all know this story. This poor fellow is traveling along the road and is attacked by robbers and left to die. A priest passes by but does not stop. A Levite comes along and does the same. The next person to pass by is a Samaritan. Samaritans were looked down on by the Jewish people because when the Assyrians conquered Samaria, many of them stayed behind. The Assyrians that stayed behind became friendly with the Samaritans. They intermarried and had families. Because Samaritans are now half breeds and no longer full-blooded Israelites, they are treated as second-class citizens by the Jews.
The priest would be the one to offer sacrifice and perform other sacramental duties in Temple. The Levites are also important as they would serve as Temple assistants. Both groups would observe the strictest letter of the law. Therefore, the law would prevent them from helping the man; if they touched him they would become unclean and could not perform their duties in the temple.
The Samaritan is more concerned with the well-being of the beaten man more than anything else. That is the difference between the two. The Samaritan takes care of the man the best he can up to and including providing him lodging and food. He promises the innkeeper that he will pay for any costs incurred for this poor soul.
My friends, this is the lesson Jesus is trying to get across to us today. He is telling us that our neighbors in need are more important than anything else. This commandment of God should be an integral part of our everyday life and has been on the books since the beginning. Jesus is telling us that nothing has changed. We today are asked to help those who need us!
Peace and All Good!