Posted by: fvbcdm | August 12, 2017

Feast of Saint Clare (11 Aug 2017)

Yesterday, I received an inquiry from a friend of mine concerning the parable of the Good Samaritan.  He had heard two different interpretations of it and was asking my opinion.  His question was this—in the parable, who is Christ? the wounded man in the ditch or the Good Samaritan who cares for him.  The answer is not so simple because our Lord’s stories are rich in meaning and don’t admit of only one, easy answer.

Certainly our Lord means to tell us that we should be willing to help anyone in any need, as the Samaritan helped the wounded man by the roadside.  And elsewhere in the Gospel, Jesus says, “whatever you do to these, the least of my brothers, you do to Me.”  So, at this level, Jesus is the wounded man in the ditch and we have many opportunities to help our Lord by helping those we encounter each day.

On the other hand, the human race has been wounded by original sin and our own personal sin, and we individually are wounded by our various difficulties—bad health, difficult financial situations, family problems, worry and anxiety, increased debility as we grow older, etc.  And in all these things, Jesus is there to help us, and help us He does, day after day.  So, at this level, Jesus is the Good Samaritan, and we are, individually and collectively, the wounded man in the ditch.

In a sense, it is good to know that we are wounded. That way, we don’t make unrealistic demands of ourselves or become surprised or discouraged when we foul up, as we all do from time to time.  The proud man gets very mad with himself when he fails at something.  The humble man is saddened but not surprised or embittered by his failure.  He simply relies upon God’s help, does what he can to rectify the situation and goes on.  So, to all of you who are in the ditch with me, I say, “Christ extends His hand to all of us.” Let us grasp it.  Let Him help us.  Accept His help.  Overcome your fall into the ditch and keep going.  Jesus will never leave you.  May you never leave Him either. Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note:  Father Brown composed this message some years ago.  Please pray for the souls of the faithful departed, including Father Brown.

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