“THE ONE WHO SHOWED COMPASSION TOWARDS HIM”
There is a Greek word, ‘splagchnizomai’ which means “a gut wrenching compassion to help one in direst need. In Hebrew it also means one is so moved by something or someone’s pain that you feel it deep in your stomach. Today’s Gospel relates a story we are all so familiar with that we perhaps do not take it so much to heart in our daily lives.
In a National Catholic Reporter, July 8, 2019, an article titled, “The Science of ‘Technology Shabbat’ the author describes how millennials and others are finding other ways to deal with burnout. To take a day and NOT use any tech devices. One of the methods described is Tech Shabbat… a religious practice to actually take time to rest and be with family and share stories.
After I read it, I thought this idea could be applied to the Samaritan story in a way. Two men on their way saw a mangled body but left him and went their way. Along came a Samaritan [supposed to be enemy], placed him on his own donkey and took him to the inn, paid the expenses for his care.
After Jesus told this parable, He asked: “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to this man?” “The one who had mercy on him”, they said.
Jesus told them: “Go and do likewise.” Jesus is challenging us to be a compassionate people. Our society, our world, our homes and workplaces provide us with the opportunity to show this care and concern as we read, listen to TV or other technology devices informing us of the tragic, the devastating and horrible ways human beings are being treated. We all are aware of the Immigrant situation at the border and how inhumane the conditions are! Perhaps you may have said to yourself: “How sick this is!” What can you do about this?
The Samaritan did what he could with the means he had at his disposal. What one thing can you do to bring compassion to someone in dire need of help? A listening ear to a desperate person, food to neighbors struggling to make ends meet, visit to a sick person in the hospital who has no family…the list goes on. You are invited to take a Tech Shabbat and be the one to whom Jesus says to: “Go and do likewise”. Be the compassionate one!
Sister Celeste Hupert, CSFN