A Moment with the Bishop, Bishop Donald J. Hying – September 9 – The Good Samaritan

Currently, in the liturgical year, we are
hearing from Luke’s Gospel all of year C. So, in terms of Sunday
readings, there’s three cycles and year C is proclaim the Gospel of Luke. Weekday
Mass readings, we just moved into Luke as well, as we move from here until the end
of the liturgical year in November. So, we’re hearing Luke at Mass both on
Sundays and on weekdays. I have to admit Luke is my favorite gospel, because
there’s many parables in Luke that appear nowhere else. And I’m thinking
of the parable of the Good Samaritan, which we’ve heard many times. But what struck
me recently, in praying over this parable, is the fact that no one does the
expected thing. So, think about this… The man that falls in with robbers did not
expect to fall in with robbers and be beaten and left half-dead. He didn’t get up
that morning to make that journey thinking that would happen. So, the
unexpected thing happens to him. Everyone would have expected the Levite and the
priest to stop and help the man, but they don’t. They don’t do the expected thing
either. They they pass on. No one would have expected the Samaritan to stop,
because there is this enmity, this hatred, between Jews and Samaritans at the time
of Jesus. And so, the shocking part of this parable is not only that those who
would have been expected to help don’t, but the man that would have been least
expected to stop and help this Jewish man, who fell in with robbers, does. And, it
says to us that God oftentimes does the unexpected thing in our life.
And oftentimes, when something new, something different breaks into our life,
our first response is fear or resistance. And yet, isn’t it the fact that God is
always doing something new within us and for us? So, when things change, even when things become difficult, to look for the grace of that, to look for the
good in that. That God is doing something new in us. And I think the example of the
Samaritan reminds us that every day to do something shockingly good for someone
that doesn’t expect it. Y’know to smile at someone, or to give somebody preference
in traffic, or or to give a small gift, or to empty the dishwasher, or to do a
simple task that isn’t your turn, isn’t your responsibility; to go out of our way
make that one little sacrifice – each day – to do something shockingly good, that
someone is shocked, surprised, taken aback, by something that we have done – that is
out of the ordinary and that is good. I think the Samaritan teaches us that
that’s shocking Good News of God’s love for us.

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