Dear Friend of Carmel Mission,
In today’s Gospel Jesus shares another beloved parable, the Good Samaritan. Like the Prodigal Son, this parable invites us to put ourselves in the shoes of all the characters involved, and reflect on times that we have experienced the kindness, or the indifference, of strangers. We hope that we are not following in the footsteps of the robbers, and I trust and pray that most of us have not left anyone half dead on the side of the road. We have likely found ourselves in the place of the injured man, and discovered that the ones willing to help and care for us were not who we expected, or even whose assistance we would ordinarily welcome. And of course, we strive to follow Jesus’ example and be like the Good Samaritan, who is willing to put himself out for a stranger, offering his mercy, compassion, and resources to help someone he has never met, and who might not accept or respect him if they met in a different context.
I would like to draw your attention to two minor characters who represent one of the great scourges in society, indifference. The priest and the Levite are, presumably, righteous people. They certainly do no harm, they are not beating people up, robbing them and leaving them for dead. Indeed, they would no doubt totally denounce such actions. But when confronted with the wounded victim, they make a slight detour so that his plight does not directly cross their path, and thus force them to take action to help him.
In this parable Jesus makes clear that we are each other’s business. We are responsible for one another. It is not enough to not participate in harmful behavior. By ignoring or overlooking hatred, violence, and mistreatment, we are allowing it to exist. This indifference does its own kind of harm in our world, and in this parable, Jesus is urging us to always take merciful, compassionate action to counteract this, not only when it convenient or expeditious for us, but whenever we have the opportunity. This is not always an easy path, but it is the way we can bring about true peace, healing, and reconciliation in our wounded world.
I wish you and your loved one’s blessings of good health and new hope. Please continue to pray, and act, for peace,
Please take a moment to read our Carmel Mission Weekly Bulletin.