Today’s Gospel, the parable of the Good Samaritan, is familiar to us. It is, perhaps, too familiar. We assume that we have grasped its message when, in fact, its message may not yet have taken hold of our hearts. The Fathers of the Church discerned a mystery — that is to say, something hidden — in the story of the Good Samaritan: the mystery of the healing mercy of God revealed in Christ Jesus. We are all of us, perhaps, touched by a certain world view that conditions us to open the Gospel in search of a plan of action. What needs to be done? What is the most efficient way to do it? The priest in the Gospel was, it would seem, going about his affairs: a man with important things to do. There were prayers to be said, sacrifices to be offered, accounts to be kept. So too was the Levite: he had people to see, appointments to keep, tasks to complete before the end of the day. Religious busyness is a terrible thing.
The Church opens the book of the Gospels