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15th Sunday of Ordinary Time
July 15, 2007 - Year: C
Deut. 30:10-4; Col. 1;15-20; Lk. 10:25-37
Who is my neighbour?
"Moses spoke to the people, saying, 'Obey the Lord your
God by observing his commandments and decrees that are
written in this book of the law; turn to the Lord your
God with all your heart and with all your soul.
Surely this commandment that I am commanding you today
is not too hard for you, nor is it too far away. It is
not in heaven, that you should say, 'Who will go up to
heaven for us, and get it for us so that we may hear it
and observe it?'
Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, 'Who
will cross to the other side of the sea for us, and get
it for us so that we may hear it and observe it?'
No, the word is very near to you; it is in your mouth
and in your heart for you to observe." [Deut. 30:10-4]
"Christ is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn
of all creation: for in him all things in heaven and on
earth were created, things visible and invisible,
whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers - all
things have been created through him and for him.
Christ is before all things, and in him all things hold
together. He is the head of the boyd, the church; he is
the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he
might come to have first place in everything.
For in Christ all the fullness of God was pleased to
dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to
himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by
making peace through the blood of his cross." [Col.
"A lawyer stood up to test Jesus. 'Teacher,' he said,
'what must I do to inherit eternal life?'
Jesus said to him, 'What is written in the law? What do
you read there?' The lawyer answered, 'You shall love
the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your
soul, and with all your strength, and with all your
mind; and your neighbour as yourself.'
And Jesus said to him, 'You have given the right answer:
do this, and you will live.' But wanting to justify
himself, the lawyer asked Jesus, 'And who is my
Jesus replied, 'A man was going down from Jerusalem to
Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who
stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half
dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road;
and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So
likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw
him, passed by on the other side.
But a Samaritan while travelling came near him; and when
he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and
bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them.
Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an
inn, and took care of him.
The next day the Samaritan took out two denarii’s, gave
them to the innkeeper, and said, 'Take care of him; and
when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you
Jesus asked, 'Which of these three, do you think, was a
neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of the
robbers?' The lawyer said, 'The one who showed him
mercy.' Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise.'" [Lk.
One night, at 11:30 PM, an older African-American woman
was standing on the side of an Alabama highway trying to
endure a lashing rainstorm. Her car had broken down and
she desperately needed a ride. Soaking wet, she decided
to flag down the next car.
A young white man stopped to help her -
generally unheard of in those conflict-filled 1960s. The
man took her to safety, helped her get assistance and
put her into a taxicab. She seemed to be in a big hurry!
She wrote down his address, thanked him and drove away.
Seven days went by and a knock came on
the man's door. To his surprise, a giant console color
TV was delivered to his home. A special note was
attached. It read:
"Thank you so much for assisting me on
the highway the other night. The rain drenched not only
my clothes but also my spirits. Then you came along.
Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying
husband's bedside just before he passed away. God bless
you for helping me and unselfishly serving others."
Mrs. Nat King Cole
Well, a difficult question. The story of the Good
Samaritan has provoked a multimillion inspirations and
reflections in books and stories. Whenever we see
someone doing a good job, helping and assisting a
helpless person, we exclaim: Oh that Good Samaritan. In
our conversations we always say, I met a Good Samaritan
today. Oh, that was a wonderful Good Samaritan. The
expression Good Samaritan has become so common that it
is used irrespective of cast, creed and nation in
conversations and speeches.
Sunday should help us to reflect deeply and find out
what type is this guy who had been deeply hurt,
physically, spiritually, psychologically and morally.
Who is the one that takes care of him.
will help us to find out who can be a Good Samaritan.
Let us now analyze the passage:
Jesus and the Lawyer:
replied to the lawyer and said, “A
certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho;
and he fell among robbers, and they stripped him and
beat him, and went off leaving him half dead.”
expounds on the law of love. True love is put into
action. It is not merely at concept or a feeling.
is a road that goes down from Jerusalem to Jericho. It
is 17 miles long and drops about 3,000 feet down the sea
level in those 17 miles. It has long been a hazardous
trip due to thieves and robbers. A lot of people would
suffer at the hands of fake encounters.
intentionally leaves the man un-described; the man who
fell among thrives. The audience, being Jewish, would
naturally assume that he was a Jew. Being in this half
dead state he would be unconscious. Hence Jesus’
intention of not disclosing the identity would mean that
a neighbour could be anybody who is in need.
he is stripped, he then is unidentifiable. Historically,
a person can be identified in one of two ways:
his dress and
his speech, i.e.
dialect. The man is any person: void of ethnic
background, void of stature, void of position
by chance a certain priest was going down on that road,
and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.”
priest was most certainly riding because he was in the
upper classes of society. The poor walk. The priest may
be was in a hurry.
he moves to the other side, probably the priest did not
actually see it happen. How can he be sure the wounded
man is a neighbor since he cannot be identified? If the
person lying there is a non-Jew the priest could be
risking defilement, especially if the person were
actually dead. If he defiles himself he can not collect,
distribute, and eat tithes. His family and servants will
suffer the consequences with him. Here comes the problem
of being with our immediate neighbours, who need our
help, but the society does not allow us to be truly
Priests were supposed to be ritually clean, exemplars of
the law. There would be immediate shame and
embarrassment suffered by them at the expense of the
people and their peers for such defilement. Having just
completed his mandatory two weeks of service, he would
then need to return and stand at the Eastern Gate along
with the rest of the unclean.
Furthermore, in addition to the
humiliation involved, the process of restoring ritual
purity was time consuming and costly. It required
finding, buying, and reducing a red heifer to ashes, and
the ritual took a full week. The priest is in
a predicament. Moreover, he cannot approach closer than
four cubits to a dead man without being defiled, and he
will have to overstep that boundary just to ascertain
the condition of the wounded man.
“And likewise a Levite also,
when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the
“Levites were descendants of Levi but not of Aaron, and
they assisted the priests (Aaron’s descendants) in the
road spoken of here is a long one. It is very likely,
according to those who have walked it, that a person
traveling it, could see ahead of him a long way. The
Levite, who is of a lower social class, may have been
walking. He most probably saw the priest ahead of him
and could have thought to himself, “If the priest may
pass then so should I.”
Perhaps they might fear for their own
safety. What if someone saw them with the naked and
wounded person and reported to the officials that the
priest and/or Levite committed a crime against the
a certain Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon
him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion”.
Samaritans were a mixed race between the Jews of
captivity and the Samaritan people of the land they were
captive in. The relationship between the Jews and
Samaritans was one of hostility because of some bad
things that happened in the past. According to the
Mishna, “He that eats the bread of the Samaritans is
like to one that eats the flesh of swine” (Mishna
Shebiith 8:10). The Mishna
is the oral traditions that developed about the law,
containing interpretations and applications to specific
questions which the law deals with only in principle.
Specifically, it is the collection of these traditions.
The Samaritan is not a gentile. He is bound by the same
law as the Jews. The Samaritan would not be naturally
from that area, so the half dead man would certainly not
qualify as his neighbor.
Samaritan woman therefore said to Him, “How
is it that you, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I
am a Samaritan woman?” (For Jews have no
dealings with Samaritans.)” (John 4:9).
Jews answered and said to Him, “Do
we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a
demon?” Jesus answered, “I
do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you
dishonor Me,’” (John 8:48-49)
he (Samaritan) came to him, and bandaged up his wounds,
pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own
beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.”
Samaritans Good Gesture:
The Samaritan risks defilement. He
approaches this unidentifiable man and helps him.
Oil and wine were poured out on the high altar before
God. Note how the usage is mentioned after the Priest
and Levite have failed to do their duty.
“And on the next day he took
out two denarii’s and gave them to the innkeeper and
said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend,
when I return, I will repay you.”
Samaritan forfeits anonymity when he stays overnight and
then says he would return. The wounded man has no money.
When it is time for him to leave, if he cannot pay the
debt he can be arrested, Matthew 18:23-35. The Samaritan
knows this and volunteers money (two denarii’s is two
days wages) and whatever else is needed to see to the
needs of this unidentified man. Additionally, the
Samaritan had no way of insuring the return of his
money. Therefore, it is safe to assume he did not expect
it to be returned. This is truly being a Good Samaritan.
Being Good Samaritan does not end with helping once, but
it requires a chain of helping situations that leads the
wounded or the needy to a stable condition. This what we
call is being a Good Samaritan.
It was in 26th July 2005, Mumbai flooded,
people stranded, lost homes and wealth. It was a tragic
and sad scene. But, what a good will among people of
Mumbai. No one can defeat Mumbai for showing solidarity
and concern when it comes to living out a tragedy.
Irrespective of cast, creed people helped one another.
Charitable organizations and business people threw help
to anyone who wanted. That was a wonderful scene to
behold. Forgetting self and giving to the other whatever
they needed. This is what we understand by love of
neighbour. Well, we all have that tenderness inside of
us. Jesus wants to bring it out to the forefront, and
make the best use of it so that the unfortunate may be
Community Welfare Fund:
Our parish pioneered COMMUNITY WELFARE
FUND activities as soon as the official from the
Bishop’s were communicated to us. Today more than 400
families benefit from the contributions of more than 65%
of our families of the parish. Don’t we realize that we
have all become Good Samaritans? It takes courage, and
will take courage to continue in this good work.
What about our concern towards our
What about the obligation of the parents and godparents
to raise their children in the sound doctrines of the
Catholic faith? Today, many Churches in our Diocese no
longer enjoy the presence of children of all ages
because the parents let their children decide for
themselves what they want to do - go to Church or stay
home. This attitude of spiritual freedom is a betrayal
of God's gift of little souls to parents. When God
entrusted the parents with the souls of newborns, it was
with the expectation that the parents would teach their
children to adore God on a daily basis, to desire to be
in His presence, to learn right from wrong, etc...
godparents stood in the presence of God and the Church
on behalf of newborn children, they personally committed
themselves to ensure that the children they sponsored
would be raised in the Catholic faith. What happened to
New book from Fr. Rudy :
Short review of the book: This book is an out come of a
serious exegetical study on the important words and
texts from the writings of St John of the Cross. The
study deals with a short life and writings of the mystic
and then does a complete study on GOD, MAN and WAYS to
EXPERIENCE GOD. The book is available at: St. Joseph
Church, Near Holy Cross Convent School, Mira Road East,
Thane Dt. Maharashtra State - 401 107, India. Books can
be ordered through email:
The cost of the book is Rs.
125/- pp.xviii + 234, The Title of the Book is: THE
DYNAMISM OF SPIRITUAL GROWTH - An Exegetical Study on
St. John of the Cross, author: Dr. Rudolf V. D' Souza,
OCD, MA. PhD.
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