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15th Sunday

Angie and Bobby were so in love. They met in the office where they both worked. They set their marriage in a historic, beautiful church. Everything was arranged.

One day, Angie fell ill and went to the hospital. There it was discovered that she had a terminal illness and was not to live for long. Angie’s first impulse was to go and tell Bobby, who she expected to lavish her with support and love. Bobby listened but couldn’t speak.

Just as Angie was waiting for Bobby to continue comforting her, Bobby just vanished without a trace. He only left a text message saying that he was calling the wedding off. Angie was devastated. In time, she recovered and is still doing well, except that her lover is gone forever.

How easy it is to love when the conditions are perfect. It is easy to love when our plans unfold just as we desire it, when the world is a bed of roses, a bright-colored rainbow, a paradise without problems and difficulties.

But unless you live in the moon, you know that love is not all romance and sweetness. It is not all about comfort and sweetness. Love has demands, trials and tests.

Why did the people in the gospel today fail the test of true love? Why did they ignore the dying victim of robbers by the roadside? It was inconvenient: their clothes will be dirtied, their schedules will be affected or their money will be spent on a total stranger. They couldn’t love because they were afraid of its demands.

But Jesus praised the Samaritan, who though being a foreigner, and was certainly also in a hurry, stopped everything and bandaged the victim’s wounds, brought him to an inn and paid for his upkeep. This Samaritan was not afraid of the costs of love. Compared to the others, he passed the test.

Fathers of the Church reflecting on the gospel, saw the person of Jesus in the image of the Samaritan. Jesus was the Good Samaritan of our lives. He willingly embraced the cross to save us from our dying, decaying situations. In this parable, Jesus was subtly pointing to himself.

Are you in a situation of difficult love? Do you think it is easier to look the other way or to avoid this situation? Are you tempted to just move on as if nobody is in pain? Maybe, Jesus is asking you to consider the example of the Samaritan and see that it is possible to give something more. Sure, it is harder but certainly more heroic.

May Jesus the Good Samaritan, inspire us to be good Samaritans to one another, too. God bless you!