LUKE 10: 25-37
HIS WORDâ€¦ WHAT IS WRITTEN IN THE LAW? HOW DO YOU READ IT? â€¦YOU HAVE ANSWERED CORRECTLY; DO THIS AND YOU WILL LIVEâ€¦ WHICH OF THESE THREE, IN YOUR OPINION, WAS A NEIGHBOR TO THE ROBBERSâ€™ VICTIM? â€¦GO AND DO LIKEWISEâ€¦
my wordsâ€¦Priest, Levite, and Samaritan Travelers. We have heard once more the Lucan Gospel Story of the Good Samaritan. As Christians, can we afford to think why the Priest (Parish Priest) and the Levite (Lay Minister) did not help the victim to robbers? Are they irresponsible leaders of the Temple? Didnâ€™t they â€œwalk their talkâ€? Where are their preaching and teachings on love, generosity, kindness, thoughtfulness, and care and concern for oneâ€™s neighbor? It is annoying to think… but let us examine their perspective why these gentlemen were not able to show compassion to the man in need.
Unlike our priests and lay ministers of today who can do a lot of things as they wanted to, the priests and the Levites as servers of the Temple of Jerusalem were strictly subjected to the Law, especially on the law of ritual purifications. And one of the major violations against ritual purification was to touch the blood of a half-dead or a totally-dead person; otherwise they would undergo the tedious procedures of the ritual purifications for a prescribed number of days as prescribed in the Law. Whereas the Samaritan traveler in the story and during the time of Jesus had no law that would restraint or impede him to help the bloody victim because he did not belong to nor was being subjected to the laws of the Torah as the Jewish people did. Hence, the Samaritan traveler in the story readily showed mercy and compassion to the victim of robbers. And because of the rift between the Jewish people and the Samaritans, the scholar of the law (a Jew) could not even mention nor enunciate the word â€œSamaritanâ€, but only said, â€œThe one who treated him with mercy.â€ The same perspective also applies to the Gospel of the Ten Lepers, the Samaritan Woman in Johnâ€™s gospel, and Jesus and His Disciples crossing of the Samaritan Town or Village. The issue: the Samaritans were not pure-blooded Jews because of intermarriages with foreigners; and they were discriminated by the Jewish people.
Brothers and Sisters, to be a Good Samaritan is a calling in our present time; as baptized and confirmed Christians we are asked to help and attend to the needs of our neighbors. But sometimes our laws, customs, traditions, and culture or situation could not warrant it. To help sometimes can become a delay in our works, a psychological burden, or a societal constraint and compromise. A classic example isÂ one wanting to help a murder or assassination victim, but once the authorities or police would arrive at the scene of the crime; one can become the prime suspect or if not a prime witness and be withheld!
But our prophetic mission calls us to be courageous witnesses of the truth and the gospel. Let our conscience decide. God knows the best in us. To be a Good Samaritan is to be a Good Christian; let us follow â€œthe one who treated him with mercyâ€ because this is the inner voice of God in us. After all, this is His command for all of us, â€œYou 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 yourselfâ€ (Lk 10:27).
LET US BE GOOD SAMARITANS TO ONE ANOTHER… ESPECIALLY TO OUR NEEDY BRETHRENâ€¦ (Fr. Julius C. Lupot)Â Â