The Gospel Today
Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
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?”
“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.”
Reflection (Sem. Ramon Jamora, Jr.):
The Gospel about the “Good Samaritan” is one of my favorites. I have been fascinated by the gesture of the Samaritan. It may only be just a parable but it is a very good one.
There was a story that my father would always tell me every time we saw a beggar, a suspected thief, or someone just idle in the street. My father would begin his story about how unfortunate they were not being able to work, to have a family, or even to have just a simple meal. He would even add that sometimes these individuals would be accused for stealing in the vicinity even if they didn’t. He would tell me that during their time the accused would be battered just for him to admit in committing the crime. My father would continue the story about his share of being a ‘good samaritan’.
As far as I could remember, it was one rainy night when my father was asked by our neighbor to help three individuals because they didn’t have a place to stay. My father had second thoughts of welcoming those men because, in the first place, he did not know them. But even with the suspicion, he extended help to them and gave them clothing because they were all wet. After receiving the shirts, they thanked my father and went together with our neighbor.
After a few months, my father heard about what the strangers felt during their encounter through our neighbor. She relayed to him that the men were very grateful. They told her that they weren’t expecting that someone would still see their worth. One of them was even teary-eyed during that night.
Every time I see beggars, a suspicious person, or even someone who is idle, I have learned that a simple gesture of goodness can change a person’s life. I must not judge them by their appearance because it is not the basis of who they really are. I also have my chances in being a ‘good samaritan’, but with a little twist. I included a simple touch, a pat on the back, and a simple message for him to take care.
A very simple gesture of giving, led someone to conversion. Perhaps, we are all called this day to have our own encounter, our own share of being a ‘good Samaritan’, and most of all our own story of giving. May we be a source of blessing today. Share.