Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan to illustrate the rule that tells us to regard all humans as out neighbors. A case these days in which his rule is being questioned deals with recent Alabama laws that has several ways in which aiding aliens is a criminal offence. Our bishops in Alabama are protesting the new laws, even though a judge last week ruled they did not violate the Constitution. It’s sad when the law binds us to be cruel.
I too often have told a story in which I am the hero. Pardon me for telling it again. I was in shorts and T-shirt driving down I-95 on my vacation when south of Daytona I saw a man with a stalled car and U-Haul on the side of the road. Stopping, I heard from him that he had run out of gas; so I took him down to the next exit where he bought a can of gas, then I took him back to is car.
On the way he told me that he had been born in Cuba, but met and married a Cuban girl in Miami. With three children they had moved to Massachusetts for a job in a furniture factory. The year before, though, his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer; and their families in Miami said they would help them if they could make it back down there. Selling most of their furniture they had plane fare for the wife and kids. They had enough too to rent the U-Haul for their other things; and he had started south, trying to make it all the way without needing to pay for a night in a motel. He had tried watching the gas gage, but growing drowsy, he had slipped up.
As he was putting the gas in his car, and as I was leaving, he said to me, “I don’t have to ask who you are.”
“Oh, yeah, I said, who am I?”
He said, “You are the Good Samaritan.”