Go and Do Likewise!

In Luke 10:25-37, a lawyer looking to test Jesus asks him “What must I do to inherit eternal life?  Jesus asks him to read what is written in the law.  “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”  The lawyer then asks him “Who is my neighbor?’

Jesus, taking an example from daily life, tells of a man who is set upon by robbers, beaten and left for dead along the roadside.  Two men, a priest and a Levite, pass by but do nothing to relieve his suffering.  A third man, a Samaritan, moved with compassion, binds up his wounds and cares for him.  Jesus asks the lawyer “who of the three was the good neighbor?’  He answers “The one who showed mercy on him.” Jesus says “Go and do likewise.”

The message to us today is that there are two ways to respond to the suffering we see around us . . . both physical and spiritual.  We can turn away from it or summon up the grace to be charitable and help those in pain.  Grace allows us to see suffering through God’s eyes.  Realize that Jesus came to be our Good Samaritan as well . . . to bind up our wounds.

St. Francis’ encounter and embrace of the leper was his initial conversion that changed his life.  What he despised he embraced.  All of us know people who are suffering.  Pray that, like Francis, we can overcome ourselves and allow Jesus to be our Good Samaritan to redeem us so that we can be a Good Samaritan to someone else.

Jesus has no hands but ours, no body but ours.  We must be His body with which He looks with compassion on this world.  Jesus asked “Who is the good neighbor?”  The lawyer answered “he who showed mercy.”

Jesus said to him “Go and do likewise.”  

We can do no less today.

Jeanne Leonardi


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