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Are you Good Samaritan?

One late afternoon while driving along Baler Street, Quezon City, my car’s steering wheel wiggled and went out of control. I slammed the brake and got out to discover the right front tire was flat.

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Since it started to drizzle, I rushed to change the tire – only to find out that the jack wasn’t working. Desperately, I decided to flag down any coming vehicle for help.

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Two cars slowed down but sped away, suspicious perhaps I was a con artist. As the rain became stronger, I moved to the middle of the road. Thank God, a jeepney stopped and after telling the driver of my predicament, he got off and hurriedly brought out a jack from under his seat and swiftly changed the tire.

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When the driver returned to his jeepney, I rushed to slip some peso bills into his hands. But he brushed them away.

I tried to leave the money on his front seat but again he forced it back. As he sped away, I could only shout, “Brod, maraming salamat!” (Thank you).

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The act of that caring, unknown man whose name I didn’t even bother to ask – shame on me! – is vividly etched in my memory. He might have been materially poor but, no doubt, rich in heart.

He exemplified the Good Samaritan whom Christ extols in this 15th Sunday’s gospel (read Lk 10, 25-37).

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The parable of the Good Samaritan teaches that EVERYONE in need is our neighbor. It is not just the people we live with or live next door, a friend or a countryman.

It’s noteworthy that the Jews hated the Samaritans whom they regard as heretics, traitors, worthless scums incapable of doing good.

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But Christ who was a Jew makes the hated Samaritan the hero. What Christ highlights is that love knows no boundaries of creed, color or race. Jesus said: “If you love only those who love you, what merit is that?”

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Charity has always been the centerpiece of Jesus’ teachings. In the parable of the Last Judgment, God as divine Judge will return in glory, saying, “When I was hungry, you gave me food; thirsty, you gave me to drink; sick and imprisoned and you visited me…Enter into the Kingdom of heaven.”

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Jesus even goes further, stressing that the main REQUIREMENT for entering heaven is our works of mercy, which in essence is consistent with his parable of the Good Samaritan.

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We must reach out as far as we can to people in need, like what the good Samaritan or that jeepney driver did.

“Go then and DO likewise,” Jesus concludes.

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LAFF ONE ANOTHER. A speaker had been talking for an hour and a half on the subject of brotherly love.

“And now, dear friends, what more can I say?” he said at last.

“For the sake of brotherly love, how about Amen?” said a voice from the back.

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A beggar, extending his hand to a rich lady who’s passing by, says: “Please, please, Ma’am …I haven’t eaten for two days!”

Lady: I must admire your will power.

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My e-mail: belsvd@gmail.com (Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD)

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