Hijacking The Good Samaritan

A wonderful piece from Sr Patty Fawkner sgs concerning the hijacking of the parable of the Good Samaritan by those in political power, in response to reading a book by Nick Spencer entitled The Political Samaritan: How Power Hijacked a Parable.

At the heart of the thesis being explored in the book and the article is one particular question, which Patty formulates in terms used by Dr Martin Luther King Jr:

In his last speech, the day before he was assassinated, King spoke eloquently about two key lessons he learnt from the parable.

The first, King said, is that the Samaritan decided not to be compassionate by proxy. He decided to get personally involved and got his hands and clothes dirtied and bloodied.

King then says that it’s reasonable to ask, “If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?” I might get mugged, I might get contaminated, I might be late for that important appointment, or I might be ridiculed for helping the enemy. But the motivating question that enables the Samaritan to become the enduring Good Samaritan is: “If I don’t stop to help this person, what will happen to him?”

It’s a valid question to ask, and yet it may be a question that our contemporary society doesn’t want to ask because it prefers to speak only in terms of the Perpendicular Pronoun, the almighty ‘I’, which is rampant among the society in which we live. As Christians, perhaps, we are asked to focus on the Other rather than on the I … and that makes all the difference.

Read Sr Patty’s article by going here.