Monday, October 04, 2010

The Patristic Interpretation Of The Good Samaritan

“Many Fathers of the Church and early Christian writers have identified Christ himself as the Good Samaritan. The man who falls into the hands of thieves is a symbol of humanity wounded by original sin and personal sin. St. Augustine has commented: ‘These offenses robbed mankind of immortality. They covered him with wounds and made him susceptible to sin.’ St. Bede has written that sins are called wounds because they destroy the integrity of human nature. The thieves represent the devil, unrestrained human passions, scandal… The Levite and the priest symbolize the Old Covenant, which cannot cure these wounds. The inn is a symbol of the Church. ‘What would have happened to this poor Jew if the Samaritan had stayed at home? What would have happened to our souls if the Son of God had not undertaken his journey?’ (R.A. Knox) Jesus is moved with compassion for man and heals his wounds, making them his own. St. John wrote to the early Christians: ‘In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him… Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.’”

-Fr. Francis Fernandez

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