October 5, 2020 – 27th Week in Ordinary Time

“Being a Christian who brightly shines forth – doing selfless acts and radiates Christ’s Presence!”

(Based on Gal 6:1-12 and Lk 10:25-37 – Monday of the 27th Week in Ordinary Time)

An important program was to be held in the Church Auditorium – the felicitation of all the members who had served for more than 10 years, on the occasion of the Decennial Jubilee Celebrations of the Parish.

The parish priest called for the auditorium in-charge to make a real-time check of the maintenance in the auditorium, “Since this is a major event, and it has been a long time that we have not had a program, I would like oversee the arrangements by myself”
(The auditorium had been unused for many months, due to the pandemic situation)

As they reached the auditorium, the priest asked all the lights to be put on, to make a check of the light system.

As the lights were put on…
… some of the lights were totally not working – blacked out completely
… a good number of them were blinking – on and off, on and off
… only a few were shining brightly – sparkling and dazzling

Seeing this, the priest made a comment: “Perhaps, this is how many Christians are today

Some don’t radiate Christ’s light at all – living selfish lives, thinking of themselves alone!
Some emit some light, occasionally – looking more to their comforts and situations!
And only a few brightly shine forth – doing selfless acts of making Christ’s Presence radiant!”

How about us?

Which category of light do we belong to?
… fully blacked out – in selfishness?
… occasionally glowing – as per situations and comfort levels?
… unconditionally shining forth – making a difference in the world around?

The Gospel of the Day is the narration of a very popular parable – the Parable of the Good Samaritan – that helps us reflect on these aspects of life.

The parables of Jesus leave a deep impression on the mind of its readers.

One such parable that makes a strong impact on the listeners and provides much food for thought is the one in the Gospel of the Day – the “Parable of the Good Samaritan”.

This is a parable familiar to most of us…
This is a parable, probably enacted by many of us…
This is a parable easily widely reflected by all of us…

We shall consider this parable of the Good Samaritan from the perspective of 3 Life-Philosophies that are reflected through 3 characters in the story…

  1. The Philosophy of the Robber: “What you have is mine, and I will take it!”

In the story, we find that the man who was “going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, fell among the robbers, who stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead” (Lk 10: 30)

The robbers had been probably waiting, in hiding, for an innocent traveller – for a potential booty of money and treasure.

We do not know their background…who they were, why were they engaged in this sort of dishonesty…

But one thing is known…. They had an understanding that “What you have is mine, and I will take it!”

Are we sometimes like these robbers…?

Stealing from the fruits of other’s labours and trampling upon their rights, in order to have a comfortable life
Subtly discrimination others – especially the poor, the helpless, the voiceless – and furnishing our life with luxuries
Passively or actively ignoring the rights that are due to others – and making our lives more easy and relaxed and fun

  1. The Philosophy of the Priest and the Levite: “What is mine is mine, and I will keep it”
    In the story, we find that the Priest and the Levite “passed by on the opposite side” (Lk 10: 31-32)

These religious leaders were probably more occupied with the requirements and duties of their office.

We do not know what exactly were these preoccupations…
… why they couldn’t translate the stipulations of the law into actual practise of mercy and compassion.

But one thing is known… They had an understanding that “What is mine is mine, and I will keep it”

Are we sometimes like these Priests and Levites…?

Overly busy with our own works and duties that leaves us too occupied to even make an attempt to extend an extra helping hand
Falsely understood notions of religion and piety which limits itself to the safe zones of worship but does not dare to step out into the challenging waters of service and compassionate actions.
Fearful of going against set-patterns and rigid-systems and being indifferent and casual in being a doer of God’s Word

  1. The Philosophy of the Samaritan: “What is mine is also yours, and I will share it”

In the story, we find that the Samaritan goes out of his way – “approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged him. Then he lifted him up on his own animal, took him to an inn and cared for him” (Lk 10: 34)

This Samaritan was probably aware that he was greatly risking his life and also that he was engaging in helping his enemy (Since Jews considered Samaritans as enemies)

We do not know the way in which he calmed all his basic instincts of wanting to see his enemy in pain or the natural tendency of “running away” from a situation of risk and “unwanted troubles”

But one thing is known… He had an understanding that “What is mine is also yours, and I will share it”

Can I always try to be like this Samaritan…?

Taking upon the risk of one’s own life and one’s comforts and be willing to help and reach out persons in distress – be it physically, mentally or spiritually.
Going against my natural instincts of harming enemies or being indifferent, and instead displaying a tender heart of mercy and compassion to those who have none to care for.
Being willing to make a sacrifice of what belongs to me – my time, my possessions, my plans – in order to help another experience that there is still a “lot of goodness” in the good world that the Good God has created

Jesus endorsed the Philosophy of the Samaritan and said, “Go, and do thou likewise.” (Luke 10:37)

The onus is now on each one of us…

Do we have a destructive philosophy of “What you have is mine, and I will take it!”…
… and remain in the shadows of wickedness, corruption and cheating?

Do we have the indifferent philosophy of “What is mine is mine, and I will keep it”…
… and get decayed in the stagnant waters of ritualism, being over-busy and woefully uncharitable?

Or can we have the Divine Philosophy of “What is mine is also yours, and I will share it”…
… and be radiant in the brightness of love, compassion and mercy…
… and thus imitate the life of the Ultimate Good Samaritan – Jesus, our Saviour and Master!

St Paul reminds us in his letter to the Galatians: “And let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart.

So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all men…” (Gal 6:9-10)

Let us honestly examine how is our Christian life…
… fully blacked out – in selfishness?
… occasionally glowing – as per situations and comfort levels?
… unconditionally shining forth – making a difference in the world around?

May the words of St Maria Faustina Kowalska, the great Saint who promoted the Devotion to the Divine Mercy of Jesus, whose feast we celebrate today, be an inspiration and a challenge to us:
“Every soul, and especially the soul of every religious, should reflect My mercy.

My Heart overflows with compassion and mercy for all.
The heart of My beloved must resemble Mine; from her heart must spring the fountain of My mercy for souls; otherwise I will not acknowledge her as Mine.”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “While we are busy and anxious to find
out what is the better…

… we unprofitably let slip the time for doing many good things!”

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