St. Francis of Assisi, Deacon
Jonah 1:1—2:2,11 + Luke 10:25-37
October 4, 2021
“The one who treated him with mercy.”
The Parable of the Good Samaritan ought profoundly to shape our spiritual and moral lives. That order of things is important, however: spiritual and then moral.
Although in a deeper sense there ought not be a distinction between our spiritual and moral lives, on the practical level, differences do mark the two. We might say that the two are most sharply distinguished by sin. The “scholar of the law” who “wished to justify himself” wants to be moral, but not spiritual. Jesus demands that he be both, and that he be moral by being spiritual.
Mercy is the means by which the moral life is wedded to the spiritual life. Or rather, mercy is the means by which the spiritual life begets authentic moral choices. Were we not all children of Adam and Eve, fallen creatures, our moral choices would not demand mercy. But in this world of sin and corruption, mercy is divine charity’s common currency.
In our spiritual lives we look on each of our fellow human creatures through the eyes of God the Father. We love each sinner, beaten and wounded by the sins of himself and others, with the mercy through which the Father sent His innocent Son to be slain for us. Through this love, we can choose to serve the broken, tend to the wounded, and know that in this service we serve God Himself.