"And then a Samaritan comes along, one whose people were hated by the Jews more out of racism than religious differences. The Samaritan, being wounded within, has known suffering and rejection. Having no roles to protect, no defensive fears, no haste to be somewhere, is free. And the suffering of the wounded person immediately touched his own heart. Compassion moved him to action. And what did he do? This despised Samaritan is extravagantly lavish. He uses his oil and wine for healing, gives his mount up to the suffering one and walks to the nearest inn, which may have been miles away. There, he not only cares for this individual, he gives the innkeeper two denarii, which would be several days pay and promised more, if needed.

"The Samaritan dared to risk — and more. He gave all he had and more. We are invited as we walk this road to do the same — and more. We are invited to healing, wholeness, and holiness and more. We are invited to share all we are with our neighbors, whoever, wherever they may live with and as LoveConsciousness in action. We do not know who the wounded one is, but it could very well have been a Jew, who would have been feared as an enemy to the Samaritan. How do you suppose the wounded one felt when he regained consciousness and was told all that the Samaritan had done for him? How do you think he might have responded? Can you imagine anyone loving you this extravagantly? The Beloved does! What was once said of Mother Teresa, could well be said of the Samaritan: 'Because she/he was free to be nothing, God could use her/him for anything.'

"Have you ever been tempted to be that lavish in your love? Are you aware of the Samaritan who lives in your inner being? What is your compassion quotient? Compassion comes from the Greek meaning guts — such strong feelings arising from deep within a person for another that it implies his stomach turned over, it made him ill to see this suffering.

"Who comes to mind as compassionate in today's world? We think of Mother Teresa's life, of those who stand by the oppressed, those we read of who have done some heroic deed through Love, the outpouring response to the 9/11 attack or the more recent Tsunami and Katrina disasters. Compassion dwells at the deepest core within each one of us. Sometimes it is well hidden; yet, often it is not recognized because it seems so natural — within families, friendships, and with those who answer the cries of the poor. To have compassion for our neighbors means to feel in ourselves what they are feeling; to deal with their feelings, their plight, as if they were our own; to make them our own through some act of kindness, prayer, presence. In truth, our neighbors are ourselves: for what we do for others, we do for LoveConsciousness. We are interconnected to all of Creation, so totally interwoven that as the Earth, other nations, and all people are — so, too, are we, aware or unaware.

"To ponder that we carry the scars of earth's body within our very souls, the wounds and deaths of the victims and even the perpetrators of violence, war, slavery, is to recognize how complicit we can be in 'passing by on the other side.' Discernment is crucial here. To feel guilty, blame or attack others, become apathetic or fearful only adds to the myriad concerns that we face."