love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and with all
your mind. And you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus replied, “What a good answer!
Do this and you shall live.” The man wanted to justify his question, so he asked,
“Who is my neighbor?”
Jesus then said, “There was a man going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell into the
hands of robbers. They stripped him, beat him and went off, leaving him half-dead.
It happened that a priest was going along that road and saw the man, but passed by on the
other side. Likewise a Levite saw the man, and passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan
also was going that way; and when he came upon the man, he was moved with compassion.
He went over to him, and cleaned his wounds with oil and wine, and wrapped them in bandages.
Then he put him on his own mount, and brought him to an inn, where he took care of him.
The next day, he had to set off; but he gave two silver coins
to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him, and whatever you
spend on him, I will repay when I return.’”
Jesus then asked, “Which of these three, do you think, made himself neighbor to the man who
fell into the hands of robbers?” The teacher of the law answered, “The one who had mercy on
him.” And Jesus said, “Then go and do the same.”
In the tradition of the allegorical interpretive approach to the gospels, the Good Samaritan is
Jesus Christ. The wounded man on the side of the road is the humanity wounded by sin. The
Inn stands for the Church which, as Pope Francis has said, is the field hospital meant to care
for the wounded humanity. The two coins that the Samaritan deposits with the Innkeeper refer
to the sacraments Christ has instituted and commanded the Church to use for the care of souls.
The Good Samaritan promises to pay more when he returns: In 0his Second Coming, Christ will
reward us for our faithfulness. In the intervening time between now and the Second Coming,
our task is to care for the victims on the margins of the society as well as the common home
entrusted to us by Christ; to “do the same” as the Good Samaritan Christ has done in
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