Today, in Chapter 10 of St Luke’s Gospel, we meet a smart Jewish lawyer who asks Jesus what He means when He says we should “love our neighbour”. The lawyer asks, “who is my neighbour”? In response to the question, Jesus tells him the story of the “Good Samaritan”.
Maybe we could update this “Good Samaritan” story and reframe it in terms of the relationship between our Church and the contemporary world.
The world today, robbed of its resources, war-torn, burdened with the problem of refugees and wounded by an trade wars , is symbolised by the man who is left bleeding and injured by the side of the road.
Our Church could be symbolised by the lawyer, the priest and the Levite, on the one hand, or by the “Good Samaritan”, on the other hand.
In St Luke’s story the lawyer, who does nothing is learned and articulate. He is able to explain many things but in the end passes by. He feels safe and secure and does not want to involve himself in the problems of strangers. The priests and the Levite in St Luke’s story belong to an upper class that doesn’t want to be contaminated by wounded, dying travellers, especially undeserving travellers.
Our church may be like the lawyer, priest or Levite in St Luke’s story – Good at explaining many matters but always remaining uncontaminated by the problems of the world.
But, in our contemporary world, there is only one way for our Church to responsibly act toward our poor, beaten-up world; namely to play the part of the “Good Samaritan”. Our church must act as the “Good Samaritan” by pouring into the worlds wounds the oil and wine of love, justice and peace.
I suppose it’s easy for each of us to say “Our church should do this”. Nevertheless, we are the Church, it seems that love, peace and justice begins with each of us. We are the Church of Jesus Christ.