In the story of the Good Samaritan the priest and the Levite pass the bashed and bleeding man on the other side of the road.
What is it that makes them behave in this way?
It is Fear:
Fear of being attacked or robbed.
Fear of being ambushed.
Fear of blood.
It is the despised Samaritan who has the courage, or perhaps the lack of fear, to help the injured man.
We see this in our society today.
People who have been attacked in the street are ignored by passers-by.
And good Samaritans are often attacked.
So instead of making moral judgments about who is charitable and who is not, we should be addressing our fears.
What is it that makes us overcome our fears and act in a loving and charitable manner?
Tears melt the heart.
Compassion for others suffering can help us to overcome our fears.
Then we can feel love for our neighbor.
Who is my neighbor?
If God is our Father then all men and women are our neighbors.