On my commute to the Pastoral Center one morning, I passed by Holy Redeemer Church on New York Avenue. I saw in the church doorway a homeless man who had obviously spent the night there. And to my shame, I have to confess that one of my first thoughts was: "Thank God I don’t have to deal with that." Of course, as I prayed with today’s gospel before Mass, I realized that my attitude was identical to that of the priest (go figure) in Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan.
Through this story, Jesus challenges all of us to help heal the needy and hurting people who happen to cross our path- be they the squeegee man at the stoplight, hurricane victims on TV, or the people under our own roofs who are in pain because of our selfishness or lack of attention. Our Lord calls us, not to pass judgment, make excuses, or look the other way, but to have compassion and extend some of the mercy that Jesus has shown to us.
As Mother Teresa once said, "The very fact that God has placed a certain soul in your way is a sign that God wants to do something for (him or) her. We are bound in conscience to help."
(My book of daily meditations for Lent, to be published by Ave Maria Press in November, is available for pre-order: http://www.amazon.com/Daily-Devotions-Lent-Living-Gospel/dp/1594713634/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1335995419&sr=8-1 )