God's Community of Good Samaritans

Author: Pastor Mike Gutzler

This past week we said goodbye to our intern Corey. We had a wonderful year together, but at the same time Corey and his wife went through some lows together. During each of those lows, the people of Holy Trinity were there to reach out to Corey during his time of need and lift him back up on his feet.

 In Sunday’s homily, I talked about the people of Holy Trinity, that being God’s community here on earth, as the embodiment of the Samaritan man today. Jesus told a story about a man who was beaten up by robbers and left for dead. Then when two seemingly religious and righteous people chose to ignore the hurt man an outsider (the Samaritan) stepped up and care for the man abundantly and generously. We truly acted as a friend to our neighbor Corey and loved him.

This love for the neighbor that Jesus mentioned just before telling this story is not a friend-kind of love or an intimate-kind of love, it is the love for the other that is expressed by sacrificing one’s own resources for the well-being of another. This is the kind of love we are called to share with the neighbor, but at the same time it is the one ethic we are called to live by. We don’t make decisions based on the greatest good for the greatest amount of people or by a set of personal virtues. No, we simply place ourselves in the shoes of the other and ask would we need care and love.

 This ethic is hard to live by, and we will naturally make excuses, or reason our way out of acting, to protect our well-being. But Jesus makes it clear that his disciples are encouraged to continually see the world from the other’s perspective. Thankfully we don’t have to do it alone. We profess God walks with us and even guides us in our time of need or action. With the help of God, we can act boldly, and especially, we encourage Corey and his wife to go forth and share the love they received from us with the next person who may be in need.