#11 – The Spirit of the Samaritan

The Jubilee…demands that we not neglect the spirit which emerged from Vatican II, the spirit of the Samaritan.
— Pope Francis

The spirit of the Samaritan is: whatever it takes.

We know the story. A man, going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, falls into the hands of robbers who strip him, beat him, and leave him half-dead.

Whenever life is stripped, beaten, and left half dead,
it doesn’t acquiesce easily.
Even if there are no words,
life cries out,
hoping stronger life will appear to help.

A priest and Levite did not bring this stronger life. They see the robbed and beaten man, but pass by.

They are too busy to hear the cry.
They have a destination, people to see, tasks to complete.
Their calendar conquers.
For them, it is delay that is deadly.

A Samaritan comes by. He has compassion and comes close, entering into the suffering of another.

He attends to his wounds with whatever he has.
He has no bandages, only clothing that he ripped into strips.
He had no ointment, only oil for cooking he turned into salve.
He had no medicine, only wine for drinking he turned into antiseptic.
He turned what he had into what he needed.

Then he puts him on his own animal, brings him to an inn, and takes care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, “Take care of him. When I come back, I will repay you whatever is needed."

The Samaritan uses his own animal,
supplies financial support,
recruits others,
and pledges full support until health is restored.

The spirit of the Samaritan is to do whatever it takes to alleviate the sufferings of another. Is there any situation in which you are presently involved that needs this spirit? 


© John Shea