In his 2020 encyclical Fratelli Tutti (All Brothers), Pope Francis uses the parable of the good Samaritan, our Sunday’s Gospel, to unwrap his main teaching. The victim lying by the road is not just an individual in need of charity. It is humanity itself that lies there, broken and wounded — our culture, our world’s political and economic systems, our ecology. The Jews who pass by in the Gospel story do not want to get involved. The Samaritan, someone disdained by Jews, manifests “a love capable of transcending borders” which is “…the basis of what, in every city and country, can be called ‘social friendship.’” Pope Francis wants us to look clearly at our troubled world and then act out of love for our world, our planet. He calls us to a different kind of love than simple helping, or financial assistance. He calls this love “political charity”: …when individuals … join together in initiating social processes of fraternity and justice for all, they enter the field of charity at its most vast, namely political charity…. Our problems are global, and they call us to love and act outside the boundaries of our own families, churches and nations. Something to ponder as we listen with Pope Francis’ ears to this familiar Gospel parable.
— Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia; photo by Matthew TenBruggencate on Unsplash