Pope Francis: Why the only future includes everyone

Luke 10:25-37 tells us of a Jewish traveller who, after being stripped of his clothing and badly beaten, is left for dead near a dirt road.

As the traveller continues to languish near the road, a priest and a Levite happen by him at different times. Both men avoid the wounded traveller and do nothing to help him. After some time, a Samaritan - from a group of people who had a very unfortunate reputation at the time - walks by and stops to help the badly-beaten man.

In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus was asked “and who is my neighbor?” meaning, “who should I take care of?”

The story He shares is one of compassion as the Good Samaritan pours oil and wine onto the wounds of the helpless and injured man to cleanse him and help him heal. After nursing the man’s wounds, the Good Samaritan takes the traveller to a hostel and pays out of his own pocket for the traveller to receive the help he needs.

The story of the Good Samaritan is all the more relevant today.

Our individual journeys are riddled with tumult and, too often, we are forced to face life’s challenges and tribulations on our own. We tend to live our lives in separateness as individuals, offering little support to one another while focusing on our own grandeur and glorification. This serves only to divide us and to undermine our inherent oneness.

In his TED talk from April of last year, Pope Francis discusses the costly ramifications of our self-centred and money-centric approach to life. He admonishes us for the people and the populations that have been lost by the side of the road like the traveller in the parable of the Good Samaritan, because we do not help.

In praising those who are taking action to change the world, Pope Francis quotes Mother Teresa who said “one cannot love unless it is at their own expense”.

He says that, even though we may feel helpless and incapable when it comes to shining the light of good into the world, each one of us is special and precious and we are all irreplaceable in the eyes of God.

With this in mind, as we navigate the conflicts of today, Pope Francis reminds us that “each and every one of us can become a bright candle, a reminder that light can overcome darkness - and never the other way around.”

Watch the Pontiff’s full TED talk.