Mission Society of the Philippines

Homilies

15th Sunday Year C

Luke 10:25-37

“Go and do likewise.”

In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus was asked by a lawyer on what to do to inherit eternal life. Jesus asked a question in return, “What is written in the law?” There came a beautiful answer: “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.” And then came Jesus’ comment, “You have answered correctly.” Then Jesus exhorted the lawyer: “Do this and you will live.” Afterwards came the parable of the Good Samaritan.

The said Parable is a story of recognizing that we are to take care of each other. People may be limited in helping due to certain circumstances, but it asks of us to recognize that all of us belong to the same family, the human family. There is no race, color, class, or cultural background that could hinder us when we truly recognize that the person we help is a brother or a sister.

“Go and do likewise.” These very words of Jesus echo not only in the past but most especially today. He says the same very words to you and me. He keeps on telling this to us to make us aware that “it is something very near to you, already in your mouths and in your hearts; you have only to carry it out.” God helps people in need. You and I received love. We pay this love or give this love forward, we pass it on to others.

Pope Francis gave a beautiful reflection on the story of the Good Samaritan. In one of his weekly audiences in 2014 he said: “Love, the Lord tells us, is never abstract or distant; it ‘sees’ and it responds. The compassion shown by the Samaritan is an image of the infinite mercy of God, who always sees our needs and draws near to us in love. The command to love God and neighbor, then, is supremely practical; it entails caring for others even to the point of personal sacrifice.” “By the end of the parable, we see that the ‘neighbor’ is not so much the man in need, but rather the one who responded to that need with compassion. Jesus tells all of us to be neighbors in this sense: ‘Go and do likewise.’ He himself is the model of the Good Samaritan; by imitating his love and compassion, we show ourselves truly to be his followers.”

I came to know an elderly lady. She is already in her 80’s. But even in her old age, she doesn’t seem to stop caring for people in need. At home her daughter is very sick. Day in, day out she takes care of her as her caregiver. There is no day off. She cannot even afford to go on vacations. But within the parish she is well respected because of her silent, yet very dedicated service to neighbors. She leads the cleaning group in church, organizing volunteers to keep the church clean. She also recognizes people who need help. And what I find worth emulating, is that she tries to do things with passion, always going the extra mile. “Go and do likewise,” is a mission for her. Through her actions, she makes the Lord Jesus known to people.

If there is one thing that is very visible in the way she does things, it is LOVE. She gives her all for the Lord, neighbor and self. One day I came to thank her for all that she has done. Her answer did not surprise me. “It is nothing Father, you do not have to thank me.” Then she smiled and went on her daily tasks. Such people make you realize that we are indeed called to care for each other. We are family. Indeed, we need to go and do likewise. Amen.

 


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