The Gospel Today
Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary
There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test Jesus 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. Daniel Voltaire Hui):
Today’s Gospel speaks of the greatest commandment which is love and the parable of the Good Samaritan. Love as they say is the most used and abused word maybe for one simple reason, love is subjective. I remember my former Spiritual Director telling me in Filipino and I quote; “hindi lahat ng nagmamahal nagsasakripisyo, pero lahat ng nagsasakripisyo nagmamahal”. If this is true, then love is not only a mere feeling or sentiment, for sentiments come and go, rather love is an action which is sacrifice. This is also what the Gospel is trying to say, that the greatest commandment of God which is love is rooted on sacrifice, as the man asks Jesus to whom he should show his love. The parable of the Good Samaritan is the best picture of the test of love which speaks about sacrifice. Though the priest and the Levite did not help the bloodied man it does not mean that they did not exhibit love to their neighbor. They were just meant to do a greater love and sacrifice which is serving the people who are expecting their ministry. For during that time priests and Levites cannot touch blood because it will make them impure, thus prohibiting them to pursue their ministry. They chose the many people over the one who is bloodied. But there was a person who sacrificed for the bloodied man; a man who is least expected to help because he belongs to the outcasts of the Jewish society and this man is the Good Samaritan. Though he is an outcast to be considered, it did not hinder him to extend help to the needy despite the treatment he received from the Jews.
To love is to sacrifice. Love is not a sentiment but an action, and an action needs a decision. So to answer the question of the scholar to Jesus; what must I do to inherit eternal life? We must decide… act …and love.