Transcript of audio:
Most of us are familiar with the colloquial phrase "good Samaritan," meaning someone who helps a stranger. But do we know where the phrase originated? More important, do we understand its deeper meaning?
As we see in the Gospel this week, the parable of the Good Samaritan comes from Jesus himself. Jesus tells of a traveler who is beaten, robbed, and left for dead along the road. A priest and then a Levite come by, but they both avoid the man. Finally, a Samaritan comes by. Now, although Samaritans and Jews generally despised each other, the Samaritan is the one who helps the injured man.
The parable, off course, teaches us to love our neighbor. But Jesus is also teaching us about tolerance. He is redefining neighbor, to include everyone, even those we may view as different from us.
To love our neighbor as ourselves begins with acceptance of one another.