YEAR C: HOMILY FOR THE 15TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: WHY DIDN’T THEY STOP TO HELP HIM?
BY: Fr. Clem C. Aladi.
HOMILY: GOSPEL: LUKE 10:25-37
Never allow responsibilities to hinder you from helping others or doing the right thing. It is the ability to show love even to your enemy that makes you good, hence the Samaritan is good.
My dearest brothers and sisters in the Lord, we are privileged to be here to worship and reflect on the words of Christ on this 15th Sunday. The readings especially the gospel narrative which is a familiar one to all of us remind us that humanity is one big neighbourhood and that we have no excuses for not being responsible in caring for others.
~In the gospel, Jesus tells us the story of the good Samaritan at the request of a scholar of the law in order to broaden his and our perspective on who truly is our neighbour. In a world where many limit their help and support to members of their own families, race or those who have some kind of affiliation with them, Jesus teaches us in this parable that CHARITY, LOVE AND COMPASSION HAS NO LIMITS OR BOUNDARIES. My reflection this morning centres on this question: why didn’t the priest and the Levite stop to help the man beaten by the robbers? The attitude of the duo might give us some insights on why many today fail to help others.
~ These might be their reasons:
1. That’s a dangerous road( Jerusalem to Jericho). In the days of Jesus, it came to be known as the ‘Bloody Pass.’
- It’s possible that they felt that the man on the ground was merely faking, and he was acting like he had been robbed and hurt in order to seize them over there, lure them there for quick and easy seizure.
Since they were going to Jerusalem to perform ecclesiastical functions in the temple and according to Jewish ceremonial laws, touching a dead body will make them
impure and hence unfit for the temple sacrifice, so they passed by on the other side.
Maybe they passed by because they wouldn’t want to be late for the temple service.
These may sound justifying to exonerate or dismiss the negligence of the priest and the Levite. While I do not judge or condemn them, it serves as a lesson to us all who give excuses or justify our actions for neglecting others, this is exactly the reason Jesus used this story to teach us today.” Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work.” -Mother Teresa
~In one of his reflections, Martin Luther King said that the first question that the priest and the Levite asked was, ‘ If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’
“But then the Good Samaritan came by, and he reversed the question: ‘ If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?’” There are many who will not forgive you for failing to provide the ladder for their climbing up to greatness, be conscientious about this when you want to ignore people you can help. The heroism of the good Samaritan lies in his readiness to take the risk having considered all the possible risks. When it comes to helping others, what really matters is their welfare, not our own safety. You can never be helpful if you keep counting the cost.
~During Jesus’s time, the Jews and the Samaritans despised and shunned each other but you see that something good can come from a person you dislike or hate. The Priest and the Levite represent the devout Christians today filling up churches every Sunday and the good Samaritan represents the groups, Churches, race or ethnic groups we dislike. No matter how devout you think you are, simple acts of charity that you neglect might be a hindrance on your way to sanctity. We glorify God through our good deeds and not just in external religious observances. Finally Do not condemn a people because even if the Samaritans were all bad, there is still a good one among them, so racial prejudice or hatred is wrong and sinful.
~From the second reading, every human person is created in the image of God. We were created through God and for God. God loves and keeps us in being and as His loving Children, we must extend that love to everyone and respect the image of God in them.
~The law of God is in our lips and inscribed in our hearts. Let’s ask for the grace in this mass to keep His commandments and to be true neighbours to all we meet daily. Don’t forget that your neighbour is anyone in need of your help.
I keep you and your family always in my prayers.
®Clem C. Aladi.