The Good Samaritan
October 9, 2017
27th Week in
Gospel: Luke 10:25-37
A teacher of the Law came and began putting Jesus to the test. And he said, “Master, what shall I do to receive eternal life?” Jesus replied, “What is written in the Scripture? How do you understand it?” The man answered, “It is written: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and with all your mind. And you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus replied, “What a good answer! Do this and you shall live.” The man wanted to keep up appearances, so he replied, “Who is my neighbor?”
Jesus then said, “There was a man going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him, beat him and went off leaving him half-dead.
“It happened that a priest was going along that road and saw the man, but passed by on the other side. Like wise a Levite saw the man and passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, too, was going that way, and when he came upon the man, he was moved with compassion. He went over to him and treated his wounds with oil and wine and wrap ped them with bandages. Then he put him on his own mount and brought him to an inn where he took care of him.
“The next day he had to set off, but he gave two silver coins to the innkeeper and told him: ‘Take care of him and whatever you spend on him, I will repay when I come back.’”
Jesus then asked, “Which of these three, do you think, made himself neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The teacher of the Law answered, “The one who had mercy on him.” And Jesus said, “Go then and do the same.”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
From the Jewish perspective, the priest and the Levite in today’s Gospel parable deserved commendation, not condemnation. They were only observing the law on ritual purity. This law prohibited physical contact with the dead. They were even observing it to perfection, so to speak, because they did not take chances on the victim who in all appearances was as good as dead. Wasn’t it unfair that the priest and the Levite who were only observing the law should be compared to a Gentile who was not covered by the same law and was therefore not bound to observe it?
But the law on ritual purity was beside Jesus’ point. The story was not meant to refute the validity of the law on ritual purity but to show who among the characters responded to the situation with love. The story was meant not to attack the law but to put love higher than the law on ritual purity. Later Jesus would enshrine love as the greatest of all the Commandments. – (Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM
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