WPCU 2024: Day 4

When he saw him, he passed by on the other side. (Lk 10:31)

May we never turn away from those in need

Additional scripture passages

  • Isaiah 58:4-8a
  • Psalm 34:15-22


The priest and Levite who walked by on the other side may have had religious reasons for not helping. The beginning of the text for the Week of Prayer tells us how the teacher of the law wanted to justify himself. The priest and the Levite in the parable would have felt justified in what they had done. Yet on many occasions, Jesus is critical of religious leadership for placing the rules of religion ahead of the obligation always to do good.

The prophet Isaiah gives us this same encouragement in chapter 58; it is better to do good than just to look good. As Christians, how far are we prepared to go beyond good conventions? Sometimes these seemingly trivial conventions can become dominant, distracting us from what really matters. The Covid-19 pandemic interrupted our ecclesial and culturally conditioned short-sightedness, pulling the rug from under our routines. But many of us, if we’re honest, may have returned to those routines.

This parable of Jesus not only challenges us to do good, but also to widen our vision. We do not learn what is good and holy only from those who share our confessional or religious worldview, but often from those who are different from us. Light and love are embodied in our enemy too. The Good Samaritan is often the one we do not expect. When we open our eyes to see how God’s love is revealed by our fellow Christians, we are drawn closer to them and so are drawn into deeper union with them.


Down that road

on the other side

you’ll find sacred dirt

holy ditches

where light is incarnate

embodied in our enemies

like a gift presented

blinded to what’s inside

unwrapped, we find our neighbour.

Go and Do

Personal: Reflect on your own circle of relationships and their geography. Choose today to walk through another part of town. What do you see and who do you notice?

Local: Seek out a project in a local community near you that supports people often not seen. Look for ways in which you can support and encourage their work.

Global: Take some time to research the conflict in Burkina Faso and the challenges facing the Church there.


Original source: WPCU 2024