Lent is a time of reflections, to acknowledge our sins, our transgressions, to make amends. It is a time to ask for the forgiveness, to rejoice in the resurrection and to prepare for the life of the world to come.
Today is the Second Sunday in Lent. It is also Good Samaritan Day. March 13th has been set aside to recognizes the unselfish actions of those who provide help when needed. Today we think of Samaritans in a positive, giving light. Good people are Good Samaritans. Most of us remember the Bible parable where a Samaritan helped a stranger who had been robbed and beaten and left to die by the side of the road. The Samaritan not only cleaned the man’s wounds and clothed him but took him to an inn where he paid for the man’s care. A Samaritan goes above and beyond. But actually, there is more to the parable. We think it means to be kind to strangers, and it does. Yet do you know why Christ chose a Samaritan as the do-gooder in His story?
Samaritans were viewed as being a mix of already spiritually corrupt Israelites and pagan foreigners, who had created a religion for themselves that the Jews considered heresy. They established as their center of worship a temple on Mount Gerizim, claiming it was where Moses had originally intended for the Israelites to worship. They had their own unique version of the five books written by Moses, the Pentateuch, but rejected the writings of the prophets and Jewish traditions. The Samaritans saw themselves as the true descendants of Israel and preservers of the true religion, while considering the Jerusalem temple and Levitical priesthood illegitimate. When Jews returned to rebuild Jerusalem, they were opposed by Samaritans. This led to further ill-will as the two sects were established in the land in opposition to one another.
In the story, a Jew is beaten, robbed and left in a ditch. What did it take for the Jew to get out of the ditch? He had to rely on a despised person to help him. To the Jew, this Samaritan was more revolting than a Gentile (pagan). The story not only showed Samaritans in a compassionate light, it went on to teach us that we are all neighbors, and that we have a duty to care for one another. While we remember the Good Samaritan we tend to forget how lowly Samaritans were once regarded. It was a Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover teachable moment.
Sundays during Lent are not considered to be of Lent but rather happen to fall in Lent. Sundays are a celebration no matter the season. It is why even in the days of old, when the faithful fasted and abstained from meats throughout Lent, Sundays were the exempt.
Good Samaritan Sunday Pot Roast with Gravy
4 lbs Beef Chuck Roast
Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
6 Garlic Cloves
1 White Onion
1-1/2 lbs Red Potatoes
2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1-1/2 cups Red Wine
2 cups Beef Stock
1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce
1 lb Baby Carrots
1 sprig Fresh Rosemary
4 tablespoons Butter
4 tablespoons Flour
Season both sides of chuck roast with salt and pepper. Let rest on the counter to soak in the seasoning.
Peel and mince garlic, set aside. Peel and cut onions into 2-inch chunks, set aside. Scrub potatoes, cut into bite-size chunks and set aside.
Add vegetable oil to instant pot. and select Sauté setting with a time of 8 minutes. Sear roast until browned, about 3 to 4 minutes each side.
Remove roast from pan and set aside briefly on a plate or cutting board. Add garlic to pot and sauté 60 seconds. Deglaze pan with red wine and beef stock. Add roast back to the pot.
Pour Worcestershire Sauce over roast and place the onion chunks, carrots, and potatoes on top of and around the meat. Place rosemary sprig on top.
Secure lid on pressure cooker, select HIGH pressure for 60 minutes.
When time is up, allow pot to release pressure naturally for 15 minutes, then switch the release valve to venting position. Once steam is released, remove lit.
Carefully remove roast to a serving platter. Remove vegetables with a slotted spoon, arrange around the roast. Cover and keep warm.
Strain liquid into a large bowl or measuring cup, set aside.
In a large, high-sided skillet, melt butter until foamy. Sprinkle with flour, cook until golden, about 3 or 4 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add cooking liquid, bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, cook until thick. Transfer to a serving bowl, enjoy with the roast and vegetables.