Just recently, I tested positive for COVID-19. Aside from having contracted the virus, the idea of being isolated made the situation harder. Furthermore, since my mother died of the same disease, I was reluctant to tell my family about it, especially my father.
Despite all these, I still considered myself blessed, because I was surrounded by good Samaritans in the person of our priest-formators, fellow brothers, and staff in the seminary. I never felt that I was alone. Throughout this journey, they assisted me in fighting this contagious disease. I felt nothing but love and care from them. They set aside their fears and served wholeheartedly. As one community, we all prayed for each other. Through them, I felt the love and healing presence of God.
In the Gospel, the victim, who was half dead, found himself abandoned by the priest and the Levite in his miserable state. We had expected these people, who were both temple servants, to be available in such situations, but it was the opposite. Fortunately, there was this good Samaritan who looked after him and even paid for his medical needs.
I have recently experienced being taken care of by these “good Samaritans.” The Lord challenges me to “go and do likewise.” This invitation also serves as a reminder for me to get away from the attitude of being indifferent and avoid prioritizing self-preservation. Rather, I am also invited to show my love and care to those who are in need, whatever it may cost. I am called to live out an authentic Christian identity – to love God and my neighbor.
By: Sem. Edward R. Miana
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.”