UCAN needs your support
You are why we do what we do - report, describe, comment, review. It is to bring to your eyes just what life is like for believers across Asia that we publish UCAN.
But as you know, the effort needs to be sustained if it is to have continuing effect.
UCAN publishes some 150 stories a week in four languages across six websites. We are grateful to benefactors in Europe and the US who support us. But those countries and the Church there are under increasing financial strain and their generosity no longer covers our costs.
We need financial help from our readers to sustain our efforts. Our reporters, editors, video producers and photographers all have families and we need to support them. They do excellent jobs, but they can't do their jobs for nothing.
Will you help us to sustain UCAN? Please click here to help.
Thanks in anticipation.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
The Good Samaritan
- October 8, 2012
The parable is actually an illustration Jesus used to answer a difficult question.
Jesus was quizzed by someone learned in the Jewish Law. âMaster, what must I do to inherit eternal life?â The unstated premise of this question was the Jewish belief that the Law itself was the way to eternal life, through its every rule and regulation. So when Jesus replies, âHow do you read the Law?â, the lawyer answers: âLove the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mindâŚand love your neighbour as yourself.â
Jesus commends the man for his answer, and affirms its truth. But the lawyer, shrewd as ever, presses on. âBut who is my neighbour ?â
So Jesus tells his listeners the story of the traveler who was attacked by bandits on a lonely road, stripped of all his possessions and left for dead. A Jewish priest and a Levite pass him by at the roadside, but go their way unheeding. Then comes a Samaritan â Jews and Samaritans were traditionally hostile to each other â who sees the wounded man, has pity on him, tends his wounds, lifts him on his mount and takes him along to the nearest roadside inn, where he persuades the innkeeper to keep the injured man until he recovers. He gives the innkeeper enough money to see to the manâs needs, before departing himself.
âWhich of the three passersby showed himself a neighbour to the wounded man?â asked Jesus. âThe one who showed him kindness,â was the lawyerâs reply.
Jesusâs final word: âGo, and do as he did.â
Traditionally humankind defined its neighbours as those related by kinship and bonding. Enemies were âoutsidersâ, those to whom no such obligation existed. Jesus changes this equation radically. âNeighbourliness is not defined anymore by how close we are to someone,â said Pastor Bonhoeffer. âIt is defined by whoever has need of us.â Wherever there is need, there lies my neighbour, and in serving him or her with love, I am in fact loving God.
Jesus could not be more clear: this is the way to eternal life.