15th Sunday in Ordinary Time
“…what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
The Gospel of today is well-known. Indeed, the message is simply this: To do as the Samaritan did.
While we use the term ‘Good Samaritan’ to denote someone who does good, the reality was that the Jews avoided any dealings with Samaritans. The latter was created as a race when the Jews and Assyrians intermarried, contrary to what was instructed in Deuteronomy 7:3-5.
The significance of Jesus’ parable is even more stark in that the first two people who came across the injured man were a priest, and a Levite. The latter was chosen by God to serve Him in Exodus 32:29 as they defended God’s holiness and stood with Him against their own sons and daughters, following the incident where the people worshipped the golden calf when Moses was up on Mount Sinai. All priests were Levites, while not all Levites were priests.
Hence the contrast was stark; the Samaritan, who was supposed to be ‘bad’, was the only one who chose to do what was right, while those anointed and chosen by God had failed to do so.
As I pondered on this reflection, what occurred to me was that these three persons — the priest, the Levite and the Samaritan — had made these choices where they were alone, when no one was able to observe and judge them.
We have often seen from social media how people act. We have seen how people act in certain situations, often judging their actions and words. Many times, we have taken a side, only to be proven wrong when a fuller picture emerges, shedding light on what really happened.
Are we, as Christians, behaving in such ways as well? Do we choose to act in certain ways simply ONLY because we think others might be watching? Certainly, this would help us add an additional frame to our actions, helping us in regulating our actions. However, we should take this opportunity to reflect on this.
Our actions should be motivated by our faith, rather than by concerns of whether others are watching. It is only then that we live our lives as fully authentic Christians. While we are all fallen beings, failing to live authentically Christian lives will show us up as hypocrites.
Let us continue to pray for guidance from the Holy Spirit on how, and what it means, to be truly Christian.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Paul Wee)
Prayer: Father, please help us to understand what it means to be your true disciples. Help us to live our lives authentically, so that we may truly reflect the values of Your kingdom.
Thanksgiving: Thank You Jesus, for showing us the way to authenticity. Thank You for loving us and teaching us.