Thursday, April 18, 2013

Quote of the Day

The Good Samaritan by Jan Wijnants (1670)
The topical relevance of the parable [of the Good Samaritan] is evident. When we transpose it into the dimensions of world society, we see how the peoples of Africa, lying robbed and plundered, matter to us. Then we see how deeply they are our neighbors; that our lifestyle, the history in which we are involved, has plundered them and continues to do so. This is true above all in the sense that we have wounded their souls. Instead of giving them God, the God who has come close to us in Christ, which would have integrated and brought to completion all that is precious and great in their own traditions, we have given them the cynicism of a world without God in which all that counts is power and profit, a world that destroys moral standards so that corruption and unscrupulous will to power are taken for granted. And that applies not only to Africa.

We do of course have material assistance to offer and we have to examine our own way of life. But we always give too little when we just give material things. And aren't we surrounded by people who have been robbed and battered? The victims of drugs, of human trafficking, of sex tourism, inwardly devastated people who sit empty in the midst of material abundance. All this is of concern to us, it calls us to have the eye and the heart of a neighbor, and to have the courage to love our neighbor, too. For--as we have said--the priest and the Levite may have passed by more out of fear than out of indifference. The risk of goodness is something we must re-learn from within, but we can do that only if we ourselves become good from within, if we ourselves are "neighbors" from within, and if we then have an eye for the sort of service that is asked of us, that is possible for us, and is therefore also expected of us, in our environment and within the wider ambit of our lives.

--Pope Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth--Part One: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration (New York: Doubleday, 2007), pp. 198-199

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