Who knew it was the Innkeeper?

The St. Mary’s Knights of Columbus sponsor an essay contest for the 5thgrade class at St. Mary’s grade school in Joplin every year, and this year they wrote an essay about the Good Samaritan, as discussed in Pope Francis’ encyclical “Fratelli Tutti”. They were instructed to look at this from the perspective of any of the principal characters mentioned.

One student looked at it from the Robber’s perspective and noticed that they are sometimes like the Robber.  A few thought the Levite or Priest were too busy or too afraid to do what they knew they should do, and some mentioned the Samaritan as somebody that lived the values we are constantly being taught.  More than half of them honed in on the Innkeeper, and I had never given that person much credit. The Innkeeper let the man into his home, and cared for him and nursed him back to health.

It is true the Samaritan paid the innkeeper, and offered to cover any further expenses, but we hadn’t considered how special it was for the innkeeper to nurse this traveler back to health. One student remarked that, if the Innkeeper hadn’t taken care of him the man might have died.  One said the Innkeeper helped because he cared about the person, and “it was his job”. He did care, and it was his job, but that didn’t make it less important. I hope our “hospitality” workers feel the respect and importance of “their job”.  We seldom remember that the word hospital comes from the archaic hospice: for pilgrims and travelers.  A truly important part of the parable of the Good Samaritan is the Innkeeper.

Congratulations to our winners! 

First Row—Gold Award: Grady and Lucas (tie)

Silver Award: Elizabeth

Bronze Award:  Sunny

2nd row—Honorable Mention: Caleb, Kayden, Luke, Nathan and Miranda