2. The challenge to commitment
Commitment is one word that perhaps best expresses the attitude and action of the Good Samaritan. He could have, like the priest and the Levite, passed by on the other side. He could have closed his heart and refused to respond to a genuine need.
But he stopped. He stopped to stoop. He stooped to conquer. At that very moment when he stopped and stooped to serve this stranger who had fallen into the hands of bandits, a neighbour was born. Compassion that is prompted by love is "creative": it creates a neighbour! "Thus one would be able to speak of a sacrament, of a sacrament of love: when one person makes available his living being, his heart and strength and energies, God causes his creative power to enter and there emerges the miracle of the relationship with the neighbour." 
Ours is indeed a world that is constantly challenged by a growing insensitivity to suffering. We have grown so accustomed to suffering, sickness, and starvation that we can pass by the most gruesome sights without so much as batting an eyelid. We have become so used to seeing soaring skyscrapers provide the background for stinking slums. Did not the world community watch as silent spectators when thousands were eliminated in one of the most massive genocides recorded in history? Life itself has become so dispensable that we have invented euphemistic expressions to quell the qualms of our conscience. We speak today of "termination of pregnancy" and "euthanasia" as if we could delink them from the sacredness of the human person whose death is being contemplated and executed!
The Church, like the Good Samaritan, is committed to health and life. What makes the reaching out of the Good Samaritan even more poignant is the fact that there was no relationship between Jews and Samaritans. But it is from this reaching out in love that two unrelated persons now begin to relate in love and a neighbour is born! Is it not love that calls the neighbour into existence?
The Gospel text from Luke, Chapter 10, simply speaks of "a man (who) was once on his way down from Jerusalem to Jericho...." Have we ever stopped to reflect that this man has no name or nationality, no particular culture or community, no race or religion? He was just a man. Yes, any man, any person in need. Every person in need is my neighbour. "Everyone who crosses my path and who needs me, no matter of what name, race or religion. Let us not waste time trying to know these things; let us not pass by on the other side. We have to be interested in one thing alone: that this poor person needs me and his name is Jesus!" 
3. The joy of communion
The world we live in is an ocean of suffering. I think of the millions suffering physically in Hospitals, Homes for the Aged, and Terminal Care Clinics. I call to mind little infants too small to understand the mystery of suffering but already big enough to experience it; I remember strong young men crying out with unbearable pain; I know of the aged, so weak and feeble, struggling and gasping for the last few breaths of life. I think of the mental suffering that so many experience: the loneliness of separated spouses, the isolation of orphans who have never known the warmth of a home or the caress of a parent; the agony of the drug addict; the anguish of those who mourn a departed one; the pain of being alone far away from near and dear ones. Suffering is indeed our common heritage. Has suffering a meaning? What is the Christian meaning of suffering? As Paul Claudel has succinctly stated: "God did not come to take away suffering but to refill it with his presence." Jesus did not eliminate suffering; He elevated it.
And what ought to be our attitude towards those suffering? "The parable of the Good Samaritan belongs to the Gospel of suffering. For it indicates what the relationship of each of us must be towards our suffering neighbor. We are not allowed to "pass by on the other side" indifferently; we must "stop" beside him. Everyone who stops beside the suffering of another person, whatever form it may take, is a Good Samaritan. This stopping does not mean curiosity but availability."  In short, our compassion for the suffering that makes us committed to action to meet their pain, ends in communion when every man and woman who suffers becomes my brother or sister.
It is strange but true that suffering unites. It brings us closer to those who suffer and perhaps even closer to ourselves! For when we are laid low and rendered weak and helpless, we sense more acutely not only our creatureliness before God, but also our solidarity with the rest of humanity. We might forget those with whom we have laughed; but we never forget those with whom we have cried! It is this bond that leads to communion. "There is something of the clairvoyant in love: a capacity to see through that which lies hidden; to understand that which is not yet presented; to discern that which is to occur."  But there is yet another Person with whom we enter into communion every time we reach out to and serve the sick and the suffering. That Person is none other than Jesus Christ Himself. In no uncertain terms He Himself tells us: "In truth I tell you, insofar as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me" (Matthew 25:40). We love and serve God as much or as little as we love and serve our neighbor in need. In the last analysis, it is love that counts. St. John of the Cross has summed it all up so beautifully when he says: "At the evening of life, you will be examined in love." Compassion, Commitment, and Communion summarize the message of the parable of the Good Samaritan. It is compassion that makes us feel with and in those who suffer; it is this fellow feeling that leads us to commit ourselves in love and service to them in their need; it is this commitment that brings about a communion of love not only with those who suffer, to whom we minister, but also with God Himself.