There are a number of stories about people who helped others and who were greatly rewarded as a result. Most of us are familiar with the story of The Beauty and the Beast, where a wicked witch curses a handsome prince and changes him into an ugly monster. He remains that way until a princess comes along, kisses him, and changes him back into a handsome prince.
True Christian goodness has the ability to transform others in a good and positive way. Almost every day we are given opportunities to influence others for better or worse. How wonderful it will be in heaven to know how we influenced others for the better.
Today’s Gospel is about the Good Samaritan who tends to a victim of a robbery; both his physical wounds as well as his psychological, emotional and spiritual wounds.
Jesus is the supreme Good Samaritan, because He comes to assist, heal and strengthen every person with His saving grace, especially through His seven channels of grace, called Sacraments. However, our Lord also calls each one of us to be a Good Samaritan. We know that malicious and evil people exist, and it will take a special type of grace from God to transform such persons. However, most people we meet are not malicious, but like ourselves have moments of weakness and failure. We probably will find it easier to be a Good Samaritan to those that we like or see less often, while we may find it much harder to be a Good Samaritan to those we find irritating and see frequently.
Today’s Gospel challenges to do what we can to heal the physical, emotional, spiritual and mental wounds of others by acting in a Christ-like way. We do so when we give a helping hand, when we are gentle and patient, when we listen to those who need to talk, when we give sound advice without nagging, when we provide silent comfort and support to someone who just needs to be near someone, and when we respond to others with graciousness and gratitude.
And the best part is that our Lord reminds us, ‘Whatever we do for one of the least of our brothers and sisters, we truly do to Him.