The Good Samaritan After William Hogarth (British, London 1697–1764 London) Etching and engraving, February 24, 1772 Metropolitan Museum of Art
[Jesus replied,] “Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?”
[The scholar] answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.”
Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
It’s a directive from the Lord: Treat my neighbor with mercy. That means extending compassion to someone who is suffering; listening when someone needs to talk; visiting someone who is lonely; feeding someone who is hungry.
It’s about noticing others. It’s about paying attention. It’s about letting go of indifference. It’s about taking care of you and me and all of us — precious members of God’s beloved human family.
The Blue Marble NASA/Apollo 17 crew; taken by either Harrison Schmitt or Ron Evans, December 7, 1972
We human persons are so small, frail, weak, and fragile. But filled with God’s Holy Spirit, we have the choice to be spacious in love, unbreakable in generosity, powerful in compassion, and invincible in forgiveness.
When I behold your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you set in place — What is man that you should be mindful of him, or the son of man that you should care for him? Psalm 8:4-5
Many experiences have exhausted my energy, damaged my sense of self-worth, and discouraged me from sharing my gifts and talents. I often feel like the fig tree that struggled to bear fruit.
God’s compassion is revealed through the kind people who don’t give up on me, but support me in times of trouble and help me to find the courage to keep going, to find a way to bear good, loving, peace-filled fruit.
[The gardener] said to him in reply,
‘Sir, leave [the fig tree] for this year also,
and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it;
it may bear fruit in the future.” Luke 13:8-9a
When I intentionally practice love, compassion, respect, forgiveness, gratitude, and peace, those Christ-like qualities grow in my heart to feed me and others—even in times of loneliness, suffering, and conflict.
[Jesus said,] “A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good.” Luke 6:45a