The Parable of the Good Samaritan. Luke 10:29-37
“And who is my neighbor?” 30Jesus replied, “A man fell victim to robbers as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down that road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. 32Likewise a Levite came to the place, and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. 33But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight. 34He approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them. Then he lifted him up on his own animal, took him to an inn and cared for him. 35The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction, ‘Take care of him. If you spend more than what I have given you, I shall repay you on my way back.’ 36Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?” 37He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
In the story of the Good Samaritan: God does not pass us like the priest and the Levite but rather like the Samaritan; God comes to us where we are. He sees our weakness; he sees our brokenness and our misery. Then He acts to heal us and bring us to a place of comfort and to rest. Remember God says, ‘Come to me all who are weary and I will give you rest.’
Therefore, the first step to being saved, the first step to recovering, to discover recovery in our broken humanity is to have humility. We must realize our need for Him and that we cannot heal ourselves much less save ourselves. We must have the humility to be free of being in denial, thinking that we have the power to do it all on our own, and that we are sufficient left to ourselves. To discover recovery, is to have the humility to ask God for help, to ask God for healing, and to ask God to save us.
Father Gaitley says: “Divine Mercy is God’s being moved to compassion at seeing our suffering and then God taking action to help alleviate it. And so, The Little Way, is about the compassion of Jesus who sees the suffering of little souls who long to attain the heights of holiness but who are too little to climb the rough stairway of perfection. The Little Way is about the action of Jesus who reaches down out of pity and picks us up, trusting little souls, to place us in the heights.”
The emphasis and focus is Jesus’ action of Divine Mercy and our most important and necessary response is trust. Trust enough to allow God to act in your lives, and to allow God to make the difference. This trust requires the daily ‘I do’ to hold on to the Lord, and to hold on when there might seem like a lack of results. It requires us to not give in, and to not let go of trusting.
Father Gaitley says, “The elevator that Thérèse refers to is the Mercy of Jesus [the Mercy of Jesus in action.] It is the compassion of Jesus reaching out to lift up the lowly.” These words return again to the heart of sacred scripture which is saturated in Mercy. St Thérèse points God’s Mercy out in a remarkable passage at the end of her autobiography. This section weaves together her favorite truths of the gospel that she has rediscovered, the truths that she then helps us to discover.
St Thérèse writes, “I have only to cast a glance in the gospels and immediately I breathe in the perfumes of Jesus’ life. And I know on which side to run. I don’t hasten to the first place but to the last. Rather than advance like the Pharisee, I repeat filled with confidence the publican’s humble prayer. Most of all, I imitate the conduct of Magdalene, her astonishing or rather her loving audacity, which charms the heart of Jesus, also attracts my own. Yes, I feel it. Even though I had on my conscience all the sins that can be committed, I would go, my heart broken with sorry and throw myself into Jesus’ arms; for I know how much He loves the prodigal child who returns to him.”
St Thérèse is a prophet of Merciful Love. In this Year of Mercy, she is one of the greatest teachers we could possibly listen to who can help us, as Pope Francis encourages, to rediscover the Merciful face of our heavenly Father. What a joy it is to know Jesus as Lord. And an even greater joy that Jesus points us to is to know God as our Father. Thérèse points us to this experience.
In the words of St. Paul, “To the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords who alone has immortality who dwells in unapproachable light; to him be honor and eternal power forever and ever.”
As this Jubilee Year of Mercy draws to a close, we are called to experience the healing of God’s merciful heart that we may rediscover the face of our Father who is merciful, that we ourselves may learn new lessons of mercy and how to share that gift with others as the Lord puts it in our lives.
Let us ask the Lord to help us to be merciful as He is merciful. That we may grow regularly in the grace that sets us free. END
Saint Thérèse and all Carmelite Saints, pray for us.
(SOURCE: San Rafael, CA Novena, September 2016) Thérèse 3- transcribed by Linda Dorian
Copyright 2016, Fr. Robert Barcelos. All Rights Reserved
‘Arm yourselves with the armor of faith and the sword of truth. Pray for the grace to forgive and to ask for forgiveness – and for the healing of wounded bodies and souls.’