Notebook

Called to Fidelity

Today’s Gospel gives us the parable of the good Samaritan, a criterion by which we must measure ourselves. Are we naturally inclined to act like the priest and levite? Do we, to avoid others’ needs, cross the street and vanish into the cityscape on the other side? Perhaps we think, ‘I can’t’ or ‘I daren’t’. Right action in extreme conditions isn’t necessarily spontaneous. Such action must be prepared by other, small choices made in secret, the sort of choices of which life consists in the main. Let’s remember: each small action carried out in the name of Jesus, for his love’s sake, can be a source of sanctification. It can prepare us for big choices lying before us, choices as yet unknown on which others’ thriving will depend. We must practise fidelity, then, in daily circumstances, in whatever task God’s providence entrusts to us now. If we get used to saying Yes! in that setting, we shall be armed for greater trials, too. Then God’s Spirit will be free to work in us. By grace we shall acquire the mind of Christ. ‘It is no longer I who live’, writes St Paul, ‘but Christ who lives in me.’ What he means is: It has become natural for me, now, to walk as he walked. May God grant us, too, grace to reach that point of identification.