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agoodsamaritanI just came across an old issue of The Monastic Way, a monthly thought-for-the-day offering by Joan Chittister whose theme was “The Audacity of Mercy.” Since we are still (hopefully) observing the Year of Mercy proclaimed by Pope Francis last December, I thought it would be a good read on a foggy morning. All the selections were thought-provoking but one toward the end of the month caught my eye as familiar and worthy of more reflection. I offer it here in the hopes that at least some will not see it as just a clever juxtaposition of phrase but rather an invitation to deeper contemplation.

Mercy takes us out of ourselves. It makes us one with the rest of the world. Or as Martin Luther King, Jr. reminds us, “The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was, “If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?” But the Good Samaritan reversed the question. He said: “If I don’t stop to help this man, what will happen to him?”