Tom Prato

The Good Samaritan - Poem by Tom Prato

‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’
But who is my neighbour? Is he the man next door?
Is he my flesh-and-blood, my kith-and-kin?
My fellow Jew? I do not know;
My world is so narrow
And limited. How can the Lord imply
My neighbour is my enemy?

And what does this story mean?
Why did the priest and Levite ignore a brother Jew
Stripped, unconscious, bleeding, beaten blue?
Did they not have a heart? Should compassion
Be found in a Samaritan?

There is so much more to this than I can see.
The message clearly must be:
The Samaritan had the oil and the wine.
Wine that stings like truth and still revives;
Poured on wounds, it cleans and purifies.
Oil soothes the pain and quickens healing;
God’s gospel brings in joyous feeling,
Gladdens the heart and makes the face to shine.
The Samaritan had the oil and the wine.

The Levite and priest, despite their toil
And service in the temple, lacked the oil
[Supply of Spirit] and the wine that cheers
Hearts weighed down with worries and with fears.
Bereft of soothing oil, refreshing wine,
What use is arid service without love divine?

Having borne the heavy mill and crushing press,
Emptied of self and pride and selfishness,
The Samaritan knelt down by the victim’s side,
[True symbol of Him crucified]
Pouring on the oil and the wine.
Binding the wounds, he brought him to an inn
[A church that cares for saints wounded by sin];
And taking out two denarii
Assured the manager of full supply
Of love and grace and comfort of the Spirit
Which all the rescued of the Lord inherit.

Comments about The Good Samaritan by Tom Prato

  • (4/20/2006 6:39:00 PM)

    Good retelling of a christian story. (Report) Reply

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  • (2/16/2006 7:16:00 AM)

    Call to accountance of who we are, and who are suppose to be.But alas some fall short like the ones who just walk by.

    (Report) Reply

  • (2/16/2006 7:12:00 AM)

    You are a blessed wonder! (Report) Reply

  • (2/11/2006 2:19:00 AM)

    I am not usually into this kind of poem but this struck me as a possible read, also you had asked nicely in the forum....
    I like this a lot. I can completely ignore the somewhat irregular rhythm in a few places and immerse myself in the poem. That does not happen often, so congratulations if that means anything.

    There is a richness in this and a hint of deep belief that one could envy.
    Best wishes
    (Report) Reply

  • (2/11/2006 1:56:00 AM)

    I understand this both from a 'nationalistic' point of view as well as the good samaritan aspect too. However, there is somewhat the power of sacrifice as well in your poem, Tom! Although the oil and wine are symbolic of a materialistic bartering; I also view one's questioning of seeking and desiring acceptance NOT for what he is (Jewish) BUT for WHO he is...a fellow human being! this poem is very deep! I like it! Congratulations!
    (Report) Reply

  • (2/11/2006 12:17:00 AM)

    We need the new wine and the oil of the Spirit. I really like your poem, and pray that I can be the good samaritan who allows God's mercy and goodness to operate instead of my own. (Report) Reply

  • (2/10/2006 10:47:00 PM)

    Ok, I concede. Its on the road of being the best poem due to the immense meaning, flow, and feeling one gets from reading it. Bon appetite. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Friday, February 10, 2006

Poem Edited: Wednesday, March 29, 2006

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