The Innkeeper in a Time of Need

CCT in Context October 2017 by Catherine Maresca


Last week a catechist sent me the reflection of Anna, age eight, during a conversation about parable of the Good Samaritan. Anna felt that we were like the Innkeeper, trusting that the good neighbor would return like Jesus will one day.


A parable is like a diamond. Turning it different ways catches light from its many facets. Anna turns the innkeeper right to the top for us. This innkeeper gets the least attention from us in our meditations. But let’s take some time with Anna’s insight.


The innkeeper receives the wounded traveler and cares for him until he can care for himself. This traveler is brought to the inn by the good neighbor, who also provides coins to pay for traveler’s needs. The innkeeper trusts the good neighbor to return and to pay for any additional expenses. 


Jesus has brought certain people to each of us for whom we are asked to care. I have a friend who calls these folks his “bundle.” They may be near or far.  They may need prayers, healing, wisdom, time, hospitality or financial help.


We do not carry our bundle alone. Jesus also provides the “coins,” community, and every kind of support. And we may find that we ourselves are in the bundles of others along the way.


There is great need in the world today in the wake of hurricanes, fires, shootings, health care crises, poisoned water, and grinding poverty. Each of us has an inn. And Jesus, the good neighbor, will bring to us certain travelers to care for until they are ready to journey again.


Who is in your bundle? How is God providing for their needs through you? Let us join the Good Neighbor in providing for the needs of the world.