Did you know that in Jesus’ time, Samaritans were a despised group among the people in his audience? Over the years, this parable has been “tamed”, and it has become easy for us to forget just what a radical and challenging teaching this story really is.
To bring this story home, here is a simple practice you might try at home. Think of who YOUR “Samaritan” is. It might be someone you don’t get along with at school. It might be someone who you think is just plain “wrong” about everything. For us adults, it might be someone on the opposite end of the political spectrum. It might be someone who has done real harm to the world. The idea is to stretch ourselves to include someone we don’t WANT to include. Once you have figured out WHO your Samaritan is, make a practice of honestly praying FOR them morning and evening. And I don’t mean “praying they stop being a jerk”. I mean praying for their wellbeing, happiness, and comfort.