Saturday, June 29, 2013

15th Sunday in OT (C) - My Good Samaritan

Luke 10: 25-37
July 14, 2013

GOSPEL READING: The Parable of the Good Samaritan

There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test him and said, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read it?” He said in reply, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” He replied to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.”

But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man fell victim to robbers as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead. A priest happened to be going down that road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. Likewise a Levite came to the place, and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight. He approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them. Then he lifted him up on his own animal, took him to an inn and cared for him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction, ‘Take care of him. If you spend more than what I have given you, I shall repay you on my way back. ’Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?” He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

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REFLECTION: My Good Samaritan

What must I do to inherit eternal life?” One basic question that must not be not only asked by a scholar of the law.  Everyone should aspire to inherit eternal life.  But unlike the scholar of the law, let us ask this question not to test the Lord, but to ask ourselves sincerely: “how can my present work be a way for me to inherit eternal life?

In the Gospel, the one asking the question is a scholar. The Lord knew he was knowledgeable.  So, He answered him with a question, “What is written in the law?  The man, in turn, answered it correctly: “You shall love the Lord, your God with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” The man wished to justify himself, thus, he raised another question, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus answered this with a parable to teach us who our neighbor is, and make us understand how to become a good neighbor to others.  The Samaritan in the parable gave us a concrete example on how to become a good neighbor to anyone who is in need.  He showed his love in action by taking care of the man who was robbed.

Fr. Art Dingel, OP once said that in our journey of life, we will meet along the way different kinds of neighbor:
The robbers are those people who rob us of our innocence, trust, reputation, etc. For the robbers, ‘what is yours is mine;’ therefore, I will get it.

The Priest or the Levite are those people who never bother to help others who are in need. For them, ‘what is mine is mine;’ so, I will keep it.

The Samaritan is the one who shows concern for others. For him, ‘what is mine is yours;’ therefore, I give it and share it.

These are the different kinds of love we have for our neighbors.  At times, we are like robbers who rob our neighbor of what they have, treat them with indifference, or accuse them falsely. Sometimes, we are like the Levite or the Priest in the parable. We pray and worship God but we would not move an inch to help others who are in their need. However, we are expected to love as the Samaritan did, whose love for neighbor was shown in deed. Our neighbor must become part of our lives. We should share generously to others the many gifts that we have received from God.

It was during my last semester in college when I met my “Good Samaritan”.  My brother who has been supporting my studies suddenly lost his job.  He called me up to tell me that I might not be able to continue my studies. It was a very unwelcomed news, indeed, considering the fact that there were only six units left for me to finish my course.  I felt so helpless. I thought it was the end of all my dreams.  It was then when my “Good Samaritan” came along. My companions were wondering what could had happened to me when they heard me crying inconsolably. Everybody knew me as someone who has bright disposition with a ready joke for everyone. They were worried because I kept on crying without telling them why. Sensing their authentic concern, I was compelled to tell them what my brother told me over the phone. Right then and there, my “Good Samaritan” embraced me with so much love and concern, asking me to stop crying. She assured me that everything will be all right; that she will help me with everything I need to finish my studies. Hearing those words made me break again into tears. But those were tears of joy and gratitude.

For the rest of the year till I graduated, I haven’t had to worry about my lodging, tuition fees, graduation expenses and even my graduation dress.  I felt so beautiful with that graduation dress.  When I wore it on my graduation day, I felt the love and embrace of my “Good Samaritan”. Way back then, I was not so aware of how the experienced of being loved by people influenced my views in life. It helps me become more understanding of others; more compassionate, more caring and loving. It transformed me to be a better person.  I had this realization when I have the opportunity to get involved in the different apostolates of our Institute.  When people come to me for help, I can easily empathize with them.  I can readily give time to listen and try to help them in my own little way.  My “Good Samaritan” taught me to be a “Better Samaritan”.  I suppose the ‘wounded man’ in the parable will find his way to pay back the goodness done to him by helping those who are in need of his help.

I know my little way of being a “Better Samaritan” is still too far from what I need to do to inherit eternal life. But I also believe that I have started a journey on my right foot. We must continually ask today: “What must we do to do the works God requires?” (John 6:28). The answer to this question is a big challenge to all of us. Are you willing to take the challenge?

Nota Bene:  My Good Samaritans were my landladies: Consolacion “Lacion” Vergara) and Crisanta “Santa” Vergara from Lian, Batangas

Nonetheless, I know that there is SOMEONE Who controlled the situation, Who did not allow me to stop my studies. Later, He called me to the Religious Life. He is truly my “GOOD SAMARITAN” the BEST SAMARITAN for everyone JESUS CHRIST.


SR. MA. LORENZA S. SAJUL, OP is a professed religious of the Congregación de Religiosas Misioneras de Santo Domingo. She is presently the Directress of Santa Catalina Ladies Residence in Manila.


Ordinary Time, Cycle C, Dominican, OP Sisters, Love, Gratitude, Neighbor, Tears, Good Samaritan, Vocation

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