Metropolitan of Zimbabwe & Angola Seraphim
12 November 2017
Orthodox Archbishopric of Zimbabwe
Referring to the parable of the good Samaritan, α lawyer asked Jesus Christ what he should do in his life to gain eternal life. Jesus reminds him of the commandments of the Old Testament, that you must "love God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and with all your mind and your neighbor as yourself. "
Then the same lawyer, who was responsible for teaching the content of the Old Testament, asks one more question to Jesus, “who is my neighbor”, that is, “his neighbor, whom he must love and care for him, as himself. Jesus begins to tell him the parable of the good Samaritan, to help him realize who is worthy of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Once, a man was traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell among thieves who stripped him, beat him badly, and left him seriously injured, full of wounds, sure he would soon die from the fatal injuries that they had caused him. We see the crime happening all the time, woe to the innocent, who must be vigilant in order to protect themselves from the atheist criminals, who are not only thieves, but are brutal and dangerous murderers. Being beaten badly, the innocent family man, half dead awaited his end.
Today we might say , why does God not have responsible people overseeing the injustices perpetrated agains the defenseless and innocent and lead those responsible to justice, or, even an innocent child, choked with injustice in his imagination say, “why were his children not there to kill their father’s attackers: On the one hand, the emotion of justice and on the other hand violence, leading others to violence in rage and to their own destruction.
Murderers are not only those who take away the life of someone unfairly and arbitrarily, but also all those who in authority allow the injustice and brutality to go unpunished thus causing public anger, that can lead into uncontrollable violent attacks aimed at the perpetrators.
Finally, in the parable, reference is made not to the bandits, but to the public opinion, to the people who happen to witness the tragedy of an innocent man who unjustly accepts the attack by the robbers and is full of wounds, on the brink of death. The first one to see him, was a clergyman who indifferently passed by, the second, a Levite, a clergy's’ assistant,, who again like the clergyman, uncompassionate distanced himself from him. Eventually, the third person who saw him, was a Samaritan, a man considered by the clergy a good for nothing sinner. Regardless, the Samaritan stopped, bandaged his wounds and poured oil and wine on him and set him on his own donkey, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when the Samaritan departed he paid the inn keeper and told the innkeeper to take care of him and upon his return he would repay the Innkeeper.
The Fathers of the Church give many interpretations to the parable of the good Samaritan, saying that the Good Samaritan is Christ who saves the dead man from his sins with his crucified death. The Inn symbolizes the Church which saves the man. However, the primary of these interpretations are those of the words that Jesus Christ Himself spoke. Seeing every person that we meet in our lives, as our neighbor and to respond to their needs as we would to those of the people we love, such as our children, our parents, our grandparents, our uncles, our aunts and our friends, our husbands, the Greek, the Orthodox.
Once, one of our own, at dawn on a Sunday, a very holy man would go to the church where the Late Father Spyridon Rados preached, to take bread “prosforo” and oil to light the kandelia. He would come from very far, as he did not live in Springs, he had made a promise “tama” to St Basil. He was very faithful. One morning the Late `Spyridonos’ son had had a terrible accident and lay bleeding on the road; in the end bleeding to death. This very faithful man would recall “when I was going to Church very early one morning I saw a very bad accident and a young man bleeding, if I knew he was the son of Papa Spyridon, I would have taken him to hospital”
Finally, in the eyes of God we are all his children, and when we help our fellow man, whether they are related to us or unknown, whether they are black, white, Greeks, immigrants, etc we help the children of God.
Every person that we meet and has our need is our neighbor.
And those who treat their neighbors unjustly and ignore them, they do that to the children of God. They are for instance …religious hypocrites…. Even though they are clerics and Levites.
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