Grace and Peace to you.
But a Samaritan while traveling came near him;
and when he saw him, he was moved with pity.
You are on your way from Jerusalem to Jericho,
going out from the heart of your religion into your daily life.
Along the way you are assaulted.
Whatever your religion has given you is taken.
You are stripped of a good way to present yourself.
You are robbed of your worthiness, whatever is to your credit.
The priest who would receive your sacrifice is not interested.
The Levite who would assure your righteousness does not.
You have no power, no treasure, nothing to offer,
nothing with which to prove or defend yourself.
You are utterly dependent, and deeply alone.
There is no reason to love you.
And your enemy draws near and bends over you.
Your fear, what you reject and despise, looms.
And heals you.
The one you distance makes you a neighbor.
The one you judge shows you mercy.
The one you refuse to love loves you.
We are loved without reason.
We are saved, not successful.
Only the one dependent on mercy can show us mercy.
Only the vulnerable can teach us trust.
We need the poor, to learn to receive.
We need the guilty, to learn to be forgiven.
We need the alien, to see ourselves, and all souls.
Without them, how destitute we are
on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho,
poor and naked, lost in the land of grace,
love draining out of us, ravenously sucking on our egos,
shivering in the rags of our self-sufficiency.
I don’t know about trusting the Lord
what the mother in the projects knows.
I don’t understand forgiveness like the prisoner.
I need to learn humility from the prostitute.
I will truly get mercy only side by side
with those who have no other hope.
The Samaritan I fear and despise
is my teacher, my master,
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