14 July 2019. Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Reflection (Rev. Alfredo O. Dimaano Jr.)
Last January, our community had the opportunity to meet, through a special apostolate, some of our brethren with disabilities. Most of them were deaf. But the one that struck me most was meeting one of the participants who was not only deaf but also blind! She was then ministered by a volunteer through the sign language or signing.
I was so amazed how the volunteer held her hands and from there, she administered the signing in her palms. Curiously, I introduced myself through signing which she acknowledged. I left and after a while, I approached her again and simply held her hand. She touched my palms. When asked (using sign) as to who I was, I was surprised when she was able to remember and recognize me. Then, using the signs, she was able to identify me.
From two strangers who just met, and in that circumstance, it opened my eyes to the reality that even those whom I think is “different” from me, is not actually foreign to me. Everyone becomes a family or neighbor when viewed with the eyes of faith. The “normal” and the handicapped are not really strangers to each other; each one can befriend and help the other.
There is a “Good Samaritan” in us awaiting to be unfolded. One just simply need to be open to possibilities of encountering Jesus even in the most unlikely moments, uneasy circumstances, and unfamiliar people. Everyone can be a neighbor to another if he is open to disregarding biases and differences. When this happens, “spiritual blindness and deafness” is changed to a clearer faith vision and hearing. Each becomes not only neighbor, but a family member recognizing in the other’s palms the identity of being God’s beloved. Amen.
The Gospel Today
Luke 10: 25 – 37
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.”