The Parable of the Good Catholic Christian

Sunday, July 10, 2022 | By Rev. Michael P. Hanifin

Readings: DT 30:10-14; COL 1:15-20; LK 10: 25-37

We have arrived at the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time and in this Sunday’s Gospel, from Saint Luke, we read the well-known parable of the Good Samaritan. Here, Jesus teaches us in rich detail how to put into action the Christian Way of Life. In fact, this parable could just as accurately be called the parable of the Good Catholic Christian.

The first thing we note about the Good Samaritan is that he was aware of the needs of those around him and responded generously. While the priest and Levi hurried past the man on the side of the road, the Samaritan was watching for those who might be in need. He had a hospitable way of looking at the world around him and so he was able to “see” in a way that the others did not, and he was “moved with compassion at the sight” of the man.

Next, we see the Good Samaritan spring into action to serve this man, setting aside his own schedule and plans to meet his needs. He did not just give the man the change in his pocket or offer quick words of encouragement from across the road. He went right up to the man. He cleaned and bandaged his wounds. He placed the man on his own animal and brought him to an inn where he could recover. The Samaritan ensured the innkeeper would continue to look after the poor victim, and he committed to covering any costs upon returning to the inn on his way back.

Saint Anthony of Padua once said, “Actions speak louder than words; let your words teach and your actions speak. We are full of words but empty of actions, and therefore are cursed by the Lord since he himself cursed the fig tree when he found no fruit but only leaves.”

It is not enough to only know God’s commandments, but we must put them into action in our daily lives. True hospitality and service is one method of living our life as God designed.  Christians are called to spring into action whenever we come upon a neighbor in need.  And Jesus personally invites each of us, just as He did in today’s Gospel, “Go and do likewise.”