Last Wednesday commenced the debate on the Good Samaritan Act in Parliament. This bill was drawn up by the Opposition to protect persons who go to others’ aid when they are involved in an accident from civil or criminal prosecution. 

This Private Member’s Bill is driven by a genuine need to protect people who may hesitate from giving First Aid to those in need because they fear that they will unintentionally cause harm and risk ending up in court in spite of their good intentions. 

Voice of the Workers would like to take the opportunity provided by this Bill to refer to the parable of the Good Samaritan and its relevance to today’s society. This parable does not simply offer a passage to reflect upon but provides us with a concrete example on how we should live and how we should treat strangers.  

The Good Samaritan presents us with a lifestyle which puts other people, with all their difficulties, at the centre, not ourselves, even if they challenge us. 

Whether we choose to live in this way is our choice. The Good Samaritan’s attitude to life challenges our faith as, in Pope Francis’ words, “faith, without action, is dead”. It is good deeds, that are carried out with love and joy towards others, that nurture our faith and make it fruitful. 

Sometimes, all it takes is a good deed to brighten our day. A simple generous gesture by a stranger can do miracles for those in need. 

Being a Good Samaritan means giving without expecting to receive anything in return from someone who finds themselves in trouble. It could be a good deed that is done without anyone noticing or a big deed done for someone who is truly in need. 

You do not need to be a tv hero or another Gandhi to be a Good Samaritan. The only qualification is the ability to empathise with another, even someone you do not know, for just one moment. When we come across someone who is suffering a hardship or is in physical pain, let us not be Christian in name only but true Christians who are able to help those in need. Let us not turn away. The society we live in, more than ever before, needs Good Samaritans.