These notes can be used for homily ideas, points for meditation or further study.
THE SINNER SUCCOURED
“A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, “which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.” S. Luke 10:30.
IN this parable there are three points to be noted. Firstly, the manifold misery of sinners: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem.” Secondly, is shown the manifold pity of Christ to the sinner: “A certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was; and when he saw him he had compassion on him, and went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out twopence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again I will repay thee.” Thirdly, the rule which is given to us for imitation: “Go, and do thou likewise.”
I. The manifold misery of sinners: On the first head it is to be noted, that men incur a fourfold misery when they sin.
- They are deprived of heavenly glory: “went down from Jerusalem,” &c., Gloss. That man by the falling away of trifling, to miseries, and to the infirmity of this sad and changeable life, descends from the heavenly Jerusalem. The wicked shall hide themselves, “for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of His Majesty,” Isai 2:19.
- The wicked are subjected under, wicked spirits: “and fell among thieves,” Gloss. In the power of the evil spirits: “and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil who are taken captive by him at his will,” 2 Tim 2:26
- They are despoiled of their good possessions: “which stripped him of his raiment,” Gloss. It refers to the garments of spiritual grace: “into a malicious soul wisdom shall not enter; nor dwell in the body that is subject unto sin,” Wisdom 1:4. (4) They are wounded in their natural good things: “and wounded him;” bring wounds upon him, that is, sins, by which the integrity of human nature is violated. “If there were not natural good things vices could not harm them ; but now what they do is to take away integrity, beauty, virtue, and salvation” (S. Augustine).
II. The manifold pity of Christ toward the sinner: On the second head it is to be noted, four kinds of compassion are expressed which Christ manifested towards sinners.
- Was the taking of human nature: “A certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was; and when He saw him he had compassion on him,” Gloss. The Samaritan is Christ, who was made man for our sakes, that He might deliver us from this present life.
- Was the institution of the Sacraments for the salvation of sinners: “and bound up his wounds,” Gloss. In baptism: “He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds,” Psalm 147:3.
- Was the infusion of the grace of the Holy Spirit: “pouring in oil,” Gloss. The charisma of the Holy Spirit: “but the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things …. whatsoever I have said unto you,” John 14:26. “And of His fulness have all we received, and
grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ,” John 1:16-17.
- In enduring the bitterness of His passion for sinners: “and set Him on His own beast.” Gloss. The beast is His flesh, in which He places the wounded, because He “bare our sins in His own Body on the tree,” 1 Peter 2:24.
III. The Rule which is given to us for imitation. On the third head it is to be noted, that we ought to show a four-fold compassion to the penitent.
- In succouring him: “Bear ye one another’s burdens,” &c. Gal 6:2. In praying for him: “If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it,” 1 John 5:16. “Pray one for another, that ye may be healed,” S. James 5:16.
- In instructing him: “If a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual restore such an one in the spirit of meekness,” Gal 6:1. “Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him, let him know,” &c., S. James 5:19-20. “If thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone,” Matt 18:15.
- In the gift of pardon: “Then came Peter to Him and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him ? Till seven times? . . . . Until seventy times seven,” Matt 18:21-22. “Reproach not a man that turneth from sin,” i.e., turning from sin to repentance; “But remember that we are all worthy of punishment,” Sirach 8:5.