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The parable of the «Good Samaritan» came from Jesus' heart, since he was walking through Galilee very attentive to the beggars and sick that he saw along the side of the road. He wanted to teach everyone to walk through life with «compassion», but he thought above all about the religious leaders.

Along the side of a dangerous road a victim of assault and robbery has been left «half dead». Fortunately along the road comes a priest and later a Levite. Both belong to the official world of the Temple. They are religious people. Without doubt they will take pity on him.

Not so. When they see the wounded man, they close both their eyes and their heart. For them it's as if that man doesn't exist: «They passed by on the other side», without stopping. Busy in their piety and rituals for God, they keep to their path. Their concern isn't for those who suffer.

On the horizon appears a third traveler. He's not a priest or Levite. He doesn't come from the Temple and doesn't belong to any kind of public position. He's a despicable «Samaritan». You can count on him for the worst.

However, when he sees the wounded man «he's moved with compassion». He doesn't pass by on the other side. He draws close to him and does everything he can: disinfects his wounds, heals him, binds his wounds. Then he takes him on his own beast of burden to an inn. There he personally takes care of him and ensures that they'll continue taking care of him.

It's difficult to imagine a more provocative call that Jesus makes to his disciples, and directly to the religious leaders. It's not enough that there are institutions, organisms and people in the Church who are next to those who suffer. It's the whole Church that should publicly appear as the institution most sensitive and committed to those who suffer physically and morally.

If the Church doesn't get moved with compassion in the face of the wounded along the side of the road, whatever she does or says will end up mostly irrelevant. Only compassion can make the Church of Jesus more human and credible today.


José Antonio Pagola

 Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf

Publicado en www.gruposdejesus.com

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