Each of us should take a turn at being the Good Samaritan.

Monday, 10/8/12

The Gospel invites us to alter our plans to come to the aid of people we see in need. Let me brag about the one time I did that. I was in vacation clothes, driving south on I-95 just south of Daytona, when I saw a man leaning against an old car with a U-Haul parked behind it. I pulled over and asked him how he came to be stuck there, and he said he had run out of gas.

I took him down to the next exit off of I-95, and as we went, I heard his story. He and his wife grew up in Cuba, but only met in Miami. With two children they moved up to near Boston where he got work in a furniture factory, and with another child born there, they were doing well. Then, his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. They had no insurance. Their parents down n Miami, when they talked by phone, told him to fly the wife and children down. He had rented the U-Haul for their belongings, and he was trying to make Miami without paying for a motel.

We got off the highway at the next exit, bought a can of gas, then, drove north of his U-Haul, circling back to it. He offered me ten dollars. When I refused he said, “I don’t have to ask. I know who you are.”

I thought he had guessed I was a priest, so I asked him, “Alright, who am I?”

“Why,” he said, “You are the Good Samaritan.” 

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