am expected to help, people who might be expected to do
something for me in return. But what about the people no
one expects me to help? What about the people I will step
around to avoid?
As I sit with the parable, I am beginning to understand that
Jesus is calling me to act with unguarded compassion toward
the person who doesn’t look like me, speak like me, or have
the same customs and ideas as I have. The good Samaritan
reminds me that being a neighbor to someone may involve
risking my comfort, my own concerns and priorities, or my
time and commitments. It reminds me of the times I have
passed someone in need; and if I take the story seriously, I
can no longer leave someone “lying on the side of the road.” It
also reminds me that the next time I find myself in dire straits,
it could be the most unexpected person who stops to help.
Several meditations in this issue address our responsibility
as Christians to help those in need. You may want to read
again the meditations for July 1, 5, 17, and 19 and August 6,
9, 18, 23, 26, and 29 before responding to the reflection
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION:
1. Read Luke 10: 30-37. Which character in the parable of the
good Samaritan do you identify with most closely? Why?
2. Can you recall a time when you saw someone in need of
help but passed them by? What was the situation? What did
you learn from the experience? What will you do differently
if you find yourself in a similar situation
in the future?
—Andrew Garland Breeden