Compassion is "an essential characteristic of God's mercy," the Pope continued, explaining that the compassion shown by the Good Samaritan is the same that God shows to each one of us.
The Lord, he said, "doesn't ignore us, he knows our pains, he knows how much we need help and consolation. He comes close to us and never abandons us."
In taking the wounded man to a hotel, caring for him and paying the bill, the Samaritan teaches us that love and compassion "are not a vague feeling," but mean taking care of one another even to the point of paying the expense in person.
"It means to compromise oneself taking all the steps needed in order to draw close to the other, to the point of immersing yourself with them," he added.
Pope Francis then turned to Jesus' question at the end of the passage, when he asks the doctors of the law which figure in the parable was a neighbor to the wounded man. The unanimous answer, he noted was "the one who had compassion."
Francis noted that this answer differed from what they initially said at the beginning. Namely that for the priest and the Levite, their neighbor was the dying man. However, at the end, the neighbor became the Samaritan, "who drew near."
"Jesus reverses the prospective," he said, explaining that rather than sitting by and classifying who is a neighbor and who isn't, "you can become the neighbor of anyone you meet in need, and you will be if in your heart you have compassion."
The Pope closed his speech saying the parable is "a stupendous gift" and a commitment for all to take into consideration.
"We are all called to follow the same path of the Good Samaritan, who is the figure of Christ," he said, adding that "Jesus bent down over us, became our servant, and in doing so saved us, so that also we can love one another as Jesus loved us. In the same way."