There are a number of fairytales about people who helped others and who were greatly rewarded as a result. In the story of The Beauty and the Beast a wicked witch curses a handsome prince and changes him into an ugly monster. He remains that way until a beautiful princess comes along, kisses him, and changes him back into a handsome prince.

Love rubs off on others and makes them lovely. When we meet people we can affect them for better or worse. How good it would be to have a good effect on others, to be like the princess and make others lovely.

We can imagine the man going down from Jerusalem to Jericho who was attacked and left half dead (Luke 10:25-37). He would have lost his confidence in humanity as a result. But the Good Samaritan helped to bring healing not only to his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them, but even more importantly the Good Samaritan poured love on the injured man’s psychological and emotional wound, and that love would be just as important for healing him as the bandages and oil and wine.

The people who hurt us, do so because they are wounded and they themselves may not even be aware of their woundedness. The best medicine of all is love. If we don’t love them they will remain wounded and hurt. It is not easy for any Good Samaritan to give the medicine of love but it is the only medicine that heals.

Father Joseph Dovari