On this Sunday in which the Orthodox Church presents the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), Fr. Matthew talks about his irrational fear of seeing someone on the side of the road on days when he had to preach about this gospel reading. He goes on to talk about how going out of your way to help someone is always inconvenient, but that we get so self-absorbed in our lives that we often miss a myriad of opportunities to help our neighbor. He then suggests that we can reframe our attitude toward thanking God for our interruptions by remembering that “serving others is not a ‘got-to,’ it’s a ‘get-to.'” In other words, serving others is not an obligation that we must undertake merely because we are Christians, but instead is an opportunity given to us by the Lord to love and serve someone else just as God humbled Himself and served us. Ultimately, serving others is an avenue to keep the law of love which Christ gives us. Along the way, he quotes St. Paul and Blessed Theophylact; explains how the pharisees called Jesus a demon-possessed Samaritan (John 8:48); and connects this gospel reading the healing sacraments of Holy Unction and Holy Communion.
1 Corinthians 4:9-16
Brethren, God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are ill-clad and buffeted and homeless, and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become, and are now, as the refuse of the world, the off-scouring of all things. I do not write this to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. I urge you, then, be imitators of me.
At that time, a lawyer stood up to put Jesus to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have answered right; do this, and you will live.” But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion, and went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ Which of these three, do you think, proved neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed mercy on him.” And Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.