Friday, 3 May 2013

The Good Samaritan - Modern Version


Once upon a time an elderly man was making his way home through the park after a long day at work. Some youths set upon him. They were carrying knives. They mugged him, injured him badly and left him lying in a pool of blood.

A while later a city gent happened to pass by. He looked at the bleeding man on the ground and thought: This may be a trap. If I stop to help him someone might come out from the bushes and attack me. I'd better hurry home.

And so he did.

A few moments later another man happened to come along. He saw the elderly man on the ground and thought: I'd better pretend not to have seen him. If I stop and call the police and ambulance they will ask me a lot of questions. They will want a lot of information. I'll be a witness and I'll probably have to go to Court eventually to say what I saw. I really can't be bothered with all this. I'd better rush home.

And so he did.

A few minutes later a learned man came by. He had studied sociology, philosophy, and many other important subjects and he was now a famous professor at the local University whose opinion and views were often sought on matters of importance. He looked at the injured man on the ground and thought: Whoever did this needs help. They must be from an under-priviledged background and up-bringing. Poor souls!

And he hurried home thinking about modern society and decided to write a paper on crime and poverty.

Moral of the story: Two thousand years after Jesus told a similar story, (Luke 10:25), life hasn’t changed so much in this world.

THIS AND OTHER SIMILAR STORIES CAN BE FOUND IN
MORE REFLECTIONS FOR THE SOUL



 
Father Francis Maple

23 comments:

  1. Victor, it's a wonderful retelling of scripture and I hesitate to be so bold as to make a suggestion but I think you might possibly have forgotten the little happy bit at the end. I was thinking that, maybe, something like this might finish it off nicely:

    And, so the poor traveller languished in pain, his faith in the goodness of mankind seriously tested - until an Australian homeschooling mother of eight happened along, on her way home from her volunteer work at the soup kitchen where she had laboured tirelessly for many hours, after returning from her angelic visit to the inmates at the local prison complex.

    "Oh, you poor, sweet, oppressed, wee person," said she, with tears of compassion and pity filling her gentle, doe-like eyes. "How opportune that I happened this way on my journey home from volunteering at the soup kitchen and visiting the prison, where I laboured tirelessly these past 35 hours without break or refreshment. Hop on my back and I will carry you to the nearest hospital. It's no trouble for I am going there, anyway, to take these beautiful flowers to the sick and the elderly, before I return home to prepare a meal of la brochette a la flambé and gateau a l ananas for my rosy-cheeked, little babies."

    And, so the honest, humble peasant woman hoisted the oppressed traveller onto her shoulder and carried him carefully, with saintly disregard for her club foot and missing leg which she had sacrificed, last Thursday, to a pitiful wayfarer who had parted with his own leg in a sad and desperate battle with a ferocious, man-eating tiger.


    It's so nice when stories have a happy ending, don't you think?

    God bless, Victor:-)
    PS. If you're still talking to me after that shameful sabotage of your post, I loved your modern take on this. It's too easy to see ourselves as better than we are, isn't it?

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    1. Oh Vicky, I love it. You have a wonderful sense of humour and can bring a smile to any story ending.

      Sadly though, in real life this story does not have a happy ending. Let me tell you the true story upon which my tale is based.

      Years ago when I travelled often to London on business, one evening I was returning home at about 6.00pm and went to Victoria Underground Tube station to travel on to my railway station and home.

      There on the ground, sitting by the wall, was a man in a dark suit holding a briefcase and with his head hunched down forward on his chest. He was motionless. People were passing him by and ignoring him.

      I approached him to see if I could help. He raised his head revealing a white clerical collar round his neck. You can imagine my surprise to find our elderly priest from back home. What are the chances of that happening in busy London?

      He mumbled that he had been to a meeting in nearby Wesminster Cathedral (Catholic UK HQ) and on his way home he felt faint and fell to the ground.

      My first instincts were to phone an ambulance. He refused point blank. He said he had to go home because he was officiating at a funeral the next day.

      I got him to stand up, we slowly made our way out of the tube station and we took a taxi to the railway station; and from there we took a train home. A couple of hours or so later I delivered him to his church where the other priest and the housekeeper were very worried because they had not heard from him for hours. They were about to report him missing.

      This priest has been dead for some years now, (RIP). I think he is looking down at us with a smile. But I am still very angry Vicky, that no one bothered to stop and help him. He wasn't dressed in poor dirty clothing and likely to be mistaken for a beggar or a homeless drunk. He was in a business suit and yet no one cared enough to stop. What chance have beggars of any help from the rest of society?

      Vicky, whilst in London and Edinburgh and other rich cities I saw some real poverty. No one seems to care these days.

      I really appreciate your contribution which made me smile. Of course I'll still talk to you and welcome your comments here - funny or otherwise.

      God bless you and yours.

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    2. That is such a terrible story, Victor. When I think of how people used to watch hangings for entertainment, I think we've just exchanged one type of barbaric behaviour for another. I've read that the victims of these hangings were often hunger-stricken paupers, yet human nature so often centres on self-preservation and self-deception, rather than self-sacrifice.

      A strange thing happened as I was reflecting on your story. Despite giving in to silliness, I began to see quite clearly the story of the Passion in our lives. For myself, I could recognise a prolonged period in the Garden of Gethsemene which began a journey towards the Cross. During the Crowning of Thorns, I am beginning to see the infinite mercy of God as our sufferings literally become the payment for souls most in need of forgiveness. I guess it's easy to see the Cross primarily as an instrument of pain but I think that, through the pain, there's a blessing which is an invitation to self-surrender and an outpouring of sacrificial love.

      I remember an experience of such intense anguish that I felt a sensation of a physically bleeding heart and I think this must be how it is when we witness other people going though their period of scourging. I wonder if the cure for all this is to allow our own selves to be led out of the Garden and journey towards to our own Cross.

      I think the carrying of the Cross is often interpreted as just an acceptance of sufferings but that must only be part of the picture. To get to that stage, it seems that we have to live through the anguish of heart, the scourging and the crowning with thorns. Then, we can pick up the Cross and offer the type of surrender that draws other people towards their own Calvary.

      This might sound like gibberish because I'm not too good at articulating things of the soul - especially when it comes to expressing heartache for those who are suffering, while at the same time expressing hope in God's mercy.

      I think it's wonderful that you were able to be the Good Samaritan in this terrible experience. Even before you recognised your priest, you went to help him and it seems to be evidence of God's mercy that, against all odds, He placed you in the right spot when the priest really needed a loving soul to help him.

      Thank you for sharing this, Victor.

      God bless:-)

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    3. Vicky, what you say is not gibberish. It makes a lot of sense. We sometimes have to "feel" other peoples' pain in order to respond.

      Someone once said that evil is the lack of empathy. That's what I feel is wrong today. People do not "feel" what others are going through. Often you see/hear comments on the media about the unemployed, the destitutes, the poor, sick and so on; and it is obvious that the speaker has not "been there" and does not know what it is like to be in such a position. I've seen real poverty when i was involved in politics, and also on business trips.

      You're right that God made sure I was at the right place at the right time when our priest needed me. What are the odds of finding him in such a big City at that precise time?

      God bless you Vicky.

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  2. It's sad to know that humanity still learns nothing from the sacrifice of the Cross. Until we do all this hate, fear, and any other words you wish to use is relinquished and replaced by the love of God it will go on forever. It's sad because of all those loving saints along the way who have tried to instruct us in the love and compassion of Jesus! Have a grand day and thank you!!! Cathy

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    1. Thank you Cathy for visiting me agin. It's great to see you here.

      You're right, humanity seems to be distancing itself from the Love and Grace of God; as my story about our priest in london (above) shows.

      God bless you Cathy.

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  3. You bothered to stop and help him, Victor; and that is a very beautiful thing.
    But you are correct, 2,000 years later, we are all still a bunch of sinners.
    Lord, have mercy on us.

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    1. You're so right Hand Maid, we still are sinners in need of mercy and forgiveness.

      God bless you.

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  4. Altogether way too true. I loved the professor's reaction. We are wasting too many trees on worthless pontificating.

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    1. That's the problem Barbara. Too many experts pontificating and too few people bothered enough to do anything to help the world a little.

      God bless.

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  5. Perfect story yet again. FEAR FREEZES MANY HEARTS but when we walk in and with Him, He is our Protector and our defense. We love and serve in His power, not ours

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    1. Thanx Melanie. Yes FEAR does make people freeze and do nothing, and evil wins again.

      God bless.

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  6. Your own story about helping the priest really touches me. I won't forget it. Praise God you were there.

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    1. Yes indeed Colleen. Praise God I was there. If I wasn't, I wonder if anyone else would have helped him. He must have been on the ground for a few minutes. Surely someone must have seen him faint and fall. He had some blood on his forehead. Probably hit the wall as he fell.

      God bless.

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  7. Not many Samaritans anymore are there?

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    1. Sadly, you are right Michael.

      God bless.

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  8. I think I stumbled onto the most Christian community on the Internet. Nice break from the rest of it.

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    1. Welcome here The Infernus Project.

      God bless you.

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    2. If I may, where is the rest of the story?

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    3. The rest of the story is that we should love and help one another.

      God bless you.

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  9. But you were the Samaritan... doesn't matter if anyone would have stopped to help the clergy in your story - you did! You said in your first reply about there not being a happy ending to the real story that this was based on... but there was! You stopped and helped - It only takes one person to stop and care for another, and for the clergy, you were it... God placed you there to help! Never underestimate that God can and does minister through you, through each of us.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Rev Beth. Yes, God does minister through us, as you say. It just broke my heart, and it made me angry, to see that old priest on the ground and no one to help him.

      God bless you.

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