Mercy From Where We Least Expect

The Good Samaritan: James Tissot

Parables such as the one of the Good Samaritan in today's gospel are often so familiar that their deeper meaning can get lost in the familiarity. Listening to this story that Jesus uses to teach about love for our neighbor, several things surfaced for me. One is how Jesus uses Samaritans several times throughout the Gospels; the two that stand out for me are today's parable and also His meeting with the Samaritan woman at the well. This is not a mere detail. The Jews listening to Jesus tell about the Good Samaritan understood what a big deal this was~ Samaritans were harshly scorned by the Jews. They were the remnant of Israel who did not worship as the rest of the Jews. The other thought I had while meditating on this passage was that in the Samaritan, mercy came from a person and place least expected.
This is where I started to think about this story as related to life today. The man in today's Gospel is physically beaten and left for dead. The priest and the Levite whom we would expect to come to the aid of the man do not. The Samaritan, the last person the people of Jesus's day would expect, shows the injured man mercy and compassion.
As I look around today, there are many who cross my path who are not so much physically beaten, but beaten up by sin and left spiritually dead. I was one of them, and mercy came to me through a person and place I least expected~ a friend in prison. When I couldn't find the where with all to forgive myself, my friend showed me God's love and mercy, and his prayers led me to receive the healing my wounds, left by a life of sinful behavior, so desperately needed.
Life for each of us is our own Jericho road and we never know who God will put in our paths. Having received God's mercy and experiencing His compassion, I can love my neighbor  whoever it may be at any given time and place. I may be the person they least expect, but that doesn't matter for all are my neighbor.

Have a blessed Sunday!


Anne said…
Karinann, this is so touching! I am deeply moved.
Michael said…
"Life for each of us is our own Jericho road."
What an interesting statement. I actually read somewhere once that there is some symbolism to the fact that the man was on a path to Jericho. Jericho was considered "less holy" than Jerusalem obviously, and he represents all of us that are on the wrong path and need help.

Very good post as always.

God Bless.
Karinann said…
Thanks Anne and Michael.
Michael- I wasn't aware of that particular symbolism, but it does go with my own take on the Jericho road- the danger that Jericho and our own daily lives can present. And even those of us who have left the wrong road can find ourselves veering toward it every now and again- thank God for His sacraments and the help they give us to return to the right road!

Blessings to you both.
Deanna said…
Hi Karinann, May you have a wonderful Sunday and God bless you this week,
Gave me chills...thank you for this post.
Connie Arnold said…
Reading your post is like having a second sermon today on the same subject, but with a different perspective. Thanks for sharing your insight!
Karinann said…
Thanks Deanna, Heartfelt and Connie for commenting here.

Connie- hope I didn't sound too preachy :)
Colleen said…
Wonderful post. I especially love that last paragraph. When we receive mercy, we are better able to give it. WHat a blessing! Thank you. Hugs.
Wonderful post. As ever.

God bless you.
Karinann said…
Thank you Colleen and Victor~glad you enjoyed the post.
Blessings to you both.
Mary333 said…
Thank you, Karin, this was beautiful to read. God is good and I could really relate to your post. I, too, was spiritually dead and caught off guard by mercy and it always touches my heart when I read about all the surprising avenues the Lord uses to show us this great mercy.
Thanx Karinann about your story on my Blog. I have responded with a similar story which happened to me.

God bless.
Daily Grace said…
"Life for each of us is our own Jericho road." This is so true!

The Samaritan in this parable is what we are to be, Christ to those in need. And as you have said, the friend was Christ reaching out to your need.

Your reflection is beautiful.

God bless
Karinann said…
Mary- glad you could relate- God is good indeed!

Daily Grace- thank you for your kind and encouraging comments on this post.

Thanks Victor I will check back to read your response.