Today’s Gospel reminds me of the beautiful song “Hesus na Aking Kapatid.” The lyrics of the song say, “Tulutan mo aking mata, mamulat sa katotohanan, Ikaw Poon makikilala sa taong mapagkumbaba.” (Let my eyes see the truth, the lowly manifests your face.) How do I encounter Jesus? Where can I see Him? This is indeed my prayer every morning, that I may see the face of Jesus through the people I encounter.
In the seminary, we follow daily a schedule. We have time for prayer, study, meals, chores, etc., For my free time, I must carefully plan how will I use it. There was this one time when we were free in the afternoon and had planned to spend it by attending to my academic requirements and perhaps taking a nap. However, a brother came knocking at my door asking for help with his task in the community. At first, I was hesitant, but then I realized, this is the face of God knocking at my door. Who am I not to lend a hand?
Oftentimes, encounters with Jesus would mean interruptions from my ordinary and scheduled life. Jesus’ invitation for me, to inherit eternal life, is to be willing to be inconvenienced and help my neighbor. The question is, how far can I be of help to my neighbor? Am I willing enough to go out of my way? The temptation to be too focused on my own ideas, plans, and goals may lead me to become indifferent towards the needs of others. Authentic discipleship means readiness to set aside my own plans and not deprive my neighbor in his need. I pray that I may be like the good Samaritan who sees the face of Christ in his brother especially in need.
By: Sem. Paulo O. Magistrado
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.”