O. T. XV (C) Sunday homily (July 10, 2022)

OT XV [C] Sunday (July 10) (Eight-minute homily in one page)L/22

Introduction: The central theme of today’s Scripture readings is that we gain eternal life through loving God living in our neighbors by becoming good neighbors.

Scripture lessons: The first reading, taken from Deuteronomy, reminds us that God not only gives us His Commandments in Holy Scriptures, but that they are also written in our hearts so that we may obey them and inherit eternal life with God. In the second reading, St. Paul reminds the Colossians, and us, that just as Christ Jesus is the “visible image of the invisible God,” so our neighbors are the visible image of Christ living in our midst. In today’s Gospel, a scribe asks Jesus a very basic religious question: “What should I do to inherit eternal life?” In answer to the question, Jesus directs the scribe’s attention to the Sacred Scriptures. The Scriptural answer is, “love God and express it by loving your neighbor.” However, to the scribe the word “neighbor” means another scribe or Pharisee – never a Samaritan or a Gentile. Hence, the scribe insists on clarification of the word “neighbor.” So, Jesus tells him the parable of the Good Samaritan. The parable clearly indicates that a “neighbor” is anyone who needs help. Thus, the correct approach is not to ask, “Who is my neighbor?” but rather to ask, “Am I a good neighbor to others?” Jesus, the Heavenly Good Samaritan, gives us a final commandment during the Last Supper, “Love one another as I have loved you,” because the invisible God dwells in every human being.

Life messages: 1) Let us remember that the road from Jerusalem to Jericho passes right through our home, parish, school and workplace. We may find our spouse, children or parents lying “wounded” by bitter words or scathing criticism or by other more blatant forms of verbal, emotional or physical abuse. Hence, Jesus invites us to show our love to others, in our own home, in school, in the workplace, and in the neighborhood, as the Good Samaritan did. 2) Let us check to see if we are good neighbors. We become good neighbors when we are people of generosity, kindness, and mercy toward all who are suffering. Our sincere smile, a cheery greeting, an encouraging word of appreciation, a heartfelt “thank you” can all work wonders for a suffering soul. 3) Let us allow the “Good Samaritans” to touch our lives. Let us be willing to touch, or be touched by, persons we have once despised. For some of us, it may be persons of another color or race; for others, it may mean persons of a different political persuasion. Let us pray that the Spirit of the Living God may melt us, mold us and use us, so that there will no longer be even one person who is untouchable or outside the boundaries of compassion. 4) Let us accept the invitation to be loving and merciful to our enemies. This means people we hate, as well as those who hate us. It is an invitation for people of all times to love their enemies–to love those they have previously hated.

OT XV [C] (July 10) Dt 30:10-14; Col 1:15-20; Lk 10:25-37

Homily starter anecdotes #1: Good Samaritans: Louise Pasteur became a Good Samaritan to rabies victims bitten by mad dogs or mad wolfs, by spending months to develop an ant-rabies vaccine, despite his fear of dogs. Dr. William Magee Jr, the plastic surgeon from New folk, Va founded Operation Smile volunteer program to become Good Samaritan, along with other volunteer surgeons, to thousands of poor children with cleft lips in Third World countries. Dr. Albert Einstein became Good Samaritan to a fourth-grade student neighbor by teaching her basic mathematics. Lenny Skutnik, an ordinary federal worker became a Good Samaritan to a sinking woman thrown out of the plane when Air Florida Flight 90 crash landed into the Potomac River in Washington, by jumping down from the 14th street bridge to ice cold water. President Ronald Regan congratulated him in his State of the Union address. St. Maximillian Kolbe the Franciscan priest in the Auschwitz Nazi concentration camp became a Good Samaritan to a fellow prisoner by offering his life. The Good Samaritan par excellence and our ultimate neighbor, beyond all comparison, who healed and delivered us from our sins out of his loving mercy and compassion for us is our Lord Jesus. After he healed us, he entrusted us to his inn, which is his Church, for further spiritual caring and nourishment. Today’s gospel challenges us to ask the question whether we are Good Samaritans or good neighbors to everyone in need in our family, workplace, parish and community.

# 2: Einstein’s little neighbor: When Einstein fled Nazi Germany, he came to America and bought a two-storied house within walking distance of Princeton University. There he entertained some of the most distinguished people of his day and discussed with them far-ranging issues from physics to human rights. But Einstein had another frequent visitor. She was not, in the world’s eyes, an important person like his other guests. Emmy, a ten-year old neighbor, had heard that a very kind man who knew all about mathematics had moved into her neighborhood. Since she was having trouble with her fourth-grade mathematics, she decided to visit the man down the block to see if he would help with her problems. Einstein was very willing and explained everything to her so that she could understand it. He also told her she was welcome to come anytime she needed help. A few weeks later, one of the neighbors told Emmy’s mother that Emmy was seen entering the house of the world-famous physicist. Horrified, she told her daughter that Einstein was a very important man, whose time was very valuable, and shouldn’t be bothered with the problems of a little schoolgirl. She then rushed over to Einstein’s house, and when Einstein answered the door, she started trying to blurt out an apology for her daughter’s intrusion — for being such a bother. But Einstein cut her off. He said, “She has not been bothering me! When a child finds such joy in learning, then it is my joy to help her learn! Please don’t stop Emmy from coming to me with her school problems. She is welcome in this house anytime.” -And that’s how it is with God! He is our neighbor, and He wants us to come to His house anytime! (Fr. John Pichappilly in The Table of the Word; quoted by Fr. Botelho)

# 3: Operation Smile: I was reading sometime back about Dr. William Magee Jr., a plastic surgeon in Norfolk, Va. In 1981, Dr. Magee traveled to the Philippines to operate on children with cleft lips and other facial deformities. Unfortunately, there were so many children with this deformity, a deformity that can render it impossible for them to speak or eat, that hundreds had to be turned away. This caused Dr. Magee and his wife to found an organization called Operation Smile. Operation Smile sends volunteer doctors to perform reconstructive facial surgery for children worldwide. “It wasn’t a strategic plan,” said Magee. “It was just a matter of emotion and passion to make sure children didn’t have to live this way.” The group, which has already treated 50,000 children worldwide, also trains doctors in other nations to perform the procedure. Magee hopes to use satellite technology in the future, so he can teach a greater number of medical professionals the necessary techniques. (The Associated Press.) Dr. Magee didn’t have to do that. He could have justified himself. “What’s in it for me? There are so many children in my own city whose parents or whose insurance company could pay for this surgery. I’m a busy doctor here. I don’t have to go halfway around the world and minister to indigent children. Not my problem.” I doubt if Dr. Magee even wondered if this act of service would get him into Heaven. He simply saw a need and filled it. He became a Good Samaritan, encouraging fellow surgeons to become Good Samaritans.

# 4: “You owe this debt to any stranger who comes to you in need:” V.P. Menon was a significant political figure in India during its struggle for independence from Britain after World War II. Menon had a splendid reputation for personal charity. His daughter explained the background of this trait after he died. When Menon arrived in Delhi to seek a job in government, all his possessions, including his money and I.D., were stolen at the railroad station. He would have to return home on foot, defeated. In desperation he turned to an elderly Sikh, explained his troubles, and asked for a temporary loan of fifteen rupees to tide him over until he could get a job. The Sikh gave him the money. When Menon asked for his address so that he could repay the man, the Sikh said that Menon owed the debt not to him but to any stranger who came to him in need, as long as he lived. The help came from a stranger and was to be repaid to a stranger. Menon never forgot that debt. His daughter said that the day before Menon died, a beggar came to the family home in Bangalore asking for help to buy new sandals, for his feet were covered with sores. Menon asked his daughter to take fifteen rupees out of his wallet to give to the man. It was Menon’s last conscious act. Menon ministered to strangers because a stranger had ministered to him. [Robert A. Fulgham, All I Really Need to Know I learned in Kindergarten (New York:
Villard Books, 1988).] Why have Christians, historically, been so charitable, so caring? It is because once, when we were lying beside the road, broken and bleeding, nail-scarred hands reached down to us and ministered to us in our need. While we were unworthy, Christ the Divine Good Samaritan died for us.

Introduction: A scribe asked Jesus a very basic religious question: “What should I do to inherit eternal life?” In answer to the question, Jesus directed the Scribe’s attention to the Sacred Scriptures. The Scriptural answer is “love God and express it by loving your neighbor.” However, to the scribe, the word “neighbor” meant another scribe or Pharisee – never a Samaritan or a Gentile. Hence, the scribe insisted on a clarification of the word “neighbor.” So Jesus told him the parable of the Good Samaritan. The parable clearly indicates that a “neighbor” is anyone who needs help. Thus, the correct approach is not to ask the question “Who is my neighbor?” but rather to ask, “Am I a good neighbor to others?” The first reading, taken from the Book of Deuteronomy, reminds us that God not only gives us His Commandments in Holy Scriptures, but that they are also written in our hearts so that we may obey them and inherit eternal life with God. The refrain for today’s Responsorial Psalm (Ps 69) condenses the lessons of the three readings in a single memorable promise, “Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.” In the second reading, St. Paul reminds the Colossians, and us, that just as Christ Jesus is the “visible image of the invisible God,” so our neighbors are the visible image of Christ living in our midst. Jesus, the Heavenly Good Samaritan, gave us a final commandment during the Last Supper, “Love one another as I have loved you,” because the invisible God dwells in every human being.

The first reading: Deuteronomy 30:10-14 explained: Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan in the course of a discussion about the Law which occurred in the context of Jesus’ fateful journey toward Jerusalem and his coming death. Jesus dared to ask people to go beyond the Law of Moses, and that is one of the things that got him in so much trouble. To prepare us for that lesson, the Church selects from the Hebrew Scriptures a description of the Law that captures its greatness. Today’s passage, taken from the book of Deuteronomy, reminds us that God is not beyond human reach. Pagan religions of Moses’ time taught that God was accessible only through the mediation of specially selected persons who made that contact by acquiring secret knowledge and by performing bizarre rituals or by using hallucinogenic drugs. But God reveals to Moses that His Law is not across the sea or up in the sky — or locked in a tabernacle! God has written his life-giving and salvific law in the human heart (v. 14; see also Jeremiah 31:33; Ezekiel 36:26-27). This Law is “not in heaven… nor is it beyond the seas,” outside our reach. No, “it is very near to you, it is in your mouth and in your heart for your observance.” Hence, Moses urges the people of Israel to hear the voice of God from the Law and to keep His Commandments. He tells us that God is very near to us – in the neighbors we shall encounter each day this week. When we act as neighbor to them, we act as neighbor to God Himself.

The second reading: Colossians: 1:15-20 explained: The Christians of Colossae were misled by some false teachers, Gnostics, who saw Jesus as only a man, though just under the angels in rank. They taught that Jesus became Lord and Christ only at his Resurrection. Hence, Paul quotes this early Christian hymn to assure the Colossian Christians of: (1) the primacy of Christ over and above all angels and cosmic powers; (2) the value and necessity of the cross; and (3) the cosmic effects of salvation. This hymn also affirms Christ’s power and position over the four ranks of angels (v. 16: thrones, dominations, principalities and powers) which, according to Hellenistic Judaism, guarded the seven levels of Heaven. It asserts that Jesus is the full revelation of God, and that it is through the person and mission of Jesus that God has reconciled all things in Heaven and on earth to Himself, making peace between us and Him. It is this Jesus who lives in us and in our neighbors. Hence we love Jesus when we love our neighbors, seeing Jesus in them.

Gospel exegesis: In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus presents three philosophies of life concerning our relationship with our neighbor:

1) The philosophy of the thieves who robbed the Jewish traveler – Lust: “What is yours is mine; I will take it by force.” This has been the philosophy of Marxism and other revolutionary movements and of modern terrorist groups. In accepting this philosophy of life, the thieves, like their modern counterparts, terrorized others and exploited them, ignoring human rights and having selfish gain as their chief motive. In Jesus’ day, the steep, winding, country road from Jerusalem to Jericho was the safe haven for such bandit groups. No wonder, the Jewish traveler was robbed, stripped, beaten and left for dead on the Jericho Road! Some Bible scholars estimate there were at least 12,000 “thieves” in that Judean wilderness surrounding Jerusalem. These thugs roamed the countryside like packs of wild dogs, attacking innocent victims. In our world, many more thieves operate than we might realize. These are the privileged few, the “robber barons” of the modern world. They are the “Enron” executives of every company who just can’t be satisfied with being wealthy; they have to have all the marbles. The robber who takes money that does not belong to him is a thief. The rapist who takes sexual pleasure from someone not his spouse is a thief. The adulterer who steals another’s spouse is a thief. Corporate executives and CEOs who bilk innocent stockholders of billions of dollars are thieves. God has given us things to use, and God has given us people to love. But when we begin to love things and use people, we become thieves. If our attitude is: “I just make sure I get mine. I don’t care about anyone else,” we are probably thieves.

2) The philosophy of life of the Jewish priest and the Levite – Legalism: “What is mine is mine; I won’t part with it.” The priests were powerful upper-class authorities governing the Temple cult. The Levites were the priests’ associates, who provided music, incense, sacred bread, Temple curtains and adornments. Their duties also included “kosher meatpacking” and banking. In the parable, the representatives of these classes did not pay any attention to the wounded man because of their utter selfishness. Misplaced zeal for their religious duty gave them a couple of lame excuses: a)” If the man is dead and we touch him we will be unclean for seven days (Numbers 19:11), and disqualified from Temple service.” Thus, they saw the wounded man on the road, not as a person needing help, but a possible source of ritual impurity. b) “This may be a trap set for us, by hiding bandits.” [This excuse has some validity, as bandits sometimes did use a
“wounded” member to decoy a prospective victim into stopping, thus setting
himself up for robbery.] The parable’s priest and Levite, however, represent people who are always demanding their rights, but never talking about their responsibilities. These two men exercised their legal right to pass this man by, and forgot God in the process. These people don’t say, “I do what I want to do,” but, “I will only do what I have to do-I won’t stick my neck out for anybody.” When one only does what one must do in life, one is not a good neighbor.

3) The philosophy of the Samaritan — Love: “What is mine is yours as well. I shall share it with you.” The Samaritan was generous enough to seethewounded Jew as a neighbor. He ignored the long history of enmity between his people and the Jews.

Samaritans were a bastard race by Judean standards. They presumably originated
from the Israelites who remained behind in their homeland when the Assyrians,
following their conquest in 722 BC, deported the leading families of the
region. In the years that followed, the Israelites who remained intermarried
with the foreign settlers brought in by the Assyrians.  The new hybrid ethnic generation —
“Jewish Assyrians”—continued to regard the Torah as their law but
erected their own temple on Mount Gerizim, just
outside Shechem (modern Nablus),
at a time when there was no Temple in Jerusalem.
The hostility between Jews and Samaritans was worsened by
a deep-rooted rivalry concerning their sanctuaries (Mt. Gerizim, Mt. Zion),
messianic expectations, and by disputes regarding the interpretation of their
sacred texts.
John Hyracanus, a Maccabaean
Jewish ruler, destroyed this Shechem temple during his reign (134-104 BC), and
thus created lasting enmity between the Judeans and the Samaritans.
No wonder, every morning in his daily
prayer a Pharisee would go to the Temple and, out loud, thank God he had not
been born a woman, a Gentile, or a Samaritan. Yet, Jesus makes the Samaritan
the hero of the story.

The Good Samaritan was taking a real risk, since the robbers who had assaulted the traveler might still be nearby. Nevertheless, he gave first aid to the wounded Jew, took him to a nearby inn and made arrangements for his food and accommodation by giving the innkeeper two denarii. Two denarii was a lot of money—enough, in fact, to pay for more than three weeks’ board and lodging. The Samaritan also assured the innkeeper of further payment for any additional medical requirements of the wounded man. What made this Samaritan so special was not the color of his skin, but the compassion in his heart. No law could make the priest or the Levite stop, but love could make the Samaritan stop. Who would we have been that day — the thief, the priest, the Levite, or the Good Samaritan?” If a person has a need that we can and should meet, that person is our neighbor. Every time we see a person in need, we immediately become a neighbor; we become a minister with a ministry. Columnist Ann Landers once wrote, “Be kind to people. The world needs kindness so much. You never know what sort of battles other people are fighting. Often just a soft word or a warm compliment can be immensely supportive. You can do a great deal of good by just being considerate, by extending a little friendship, going out of your way to do just one nice thing, or saying one good word.” Mark Twain once wrote, “Kindness is a language that the deaf can hear and the blind can read.”

Life messages: 1) We need to remember that the road from Jerusalem to Jericho passes right through our home, parish, school and workplace. The Jericho Road is any place where people are being robbed of their dignity, their material goods or their value as human beings. It is any place where there is suffering and oppression. As a matter of fact, the Jericho Road may be our own home, the place where we are taking care of a mother or father, husband or wife, or even our own children. We may find our spouse, children or parents lying “wounded” by bitter words, scathing criticism or other, more blatant forms of verbal, emotional or physical abuse. Hence, Jesus invites us to have hearts of love. What God wants more than anything is for us to show our love to others, in our own home and school, in the workplace, and in the neighborhood, as the Good Samaritan did. Jesus is inviting us to have hearts of mercy for those who are being left hurt or mistreated on any of the “Jericho Roads” of life.

2) Are we good neighbors? A good neighbor does not say, “I do what I want to do,” or even, “I do what I have to do,” but, “I do what I ought to do.” The lawyer’s question— “Who is my neighbor?”—reveals that he was really self-centered. The parable makes us realize that every human person is our neighbor. How have we been good neighbors this week? To whom did we behave in a neighborly way? The parable is a condemnation of our non-involvement as well as an invitation for us to be merciful and kind to those in need, including those in our family, school, neighborhood, and parish. We are invited to be people of generosity, kindness, and mercy toward all who are suffering. A sincere smile, a cheery greeting, an encouraging word of appreciation, a heartfelt “thank you” can work wonders for a suffering soul. Within every society, there is fear of those who are “different,” who differ from us in religion, skin-color, dress or language. The parable invites us to make them neighbors. Why? Because “one’s neighbor is the living image of God the Father, redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ, and placed under the permanent action of the Holy Spirit. One’s neighbor must therefore be loved, even if he or she is an enemy, with the same love with which the Lord loves him or her.” (Pope St. John Paul II, Sollicitudo ReiSocialis, 1987).

3) We need to allow the “Good Samaritans” touch our lives. Do you recall the consternation and shock in so many areas years ago when PLO leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin shook hands for the whole world to see? People from both Arafat’s and Rabin’s cultures were shocked by it and condemned that handshake! Let us be willing to touch and be touched by persons we have once despised. For some of us, these may be persons of another color or race; for others, these may be persons of a different political persuasion. For still others these may be former enemies who have hurt them, abused them or offended them. Let us pray that the Spirit of the living God may melt us, mold us and use us so that there will no longer be even one person who is untouchable or outside the boundaries of our compassion.

4) We are commanded to be loving and merciful to our enemies. “Enemies” include both people we hate, and those who hate us. The Jews and the Samaritans during the time of Jesus hated each other. When Jesus told the story of a Samaritan helping a Jew, everyone was probably shocked. A Samaritan outcast helping a Jew? Impossible! “Good Samaritan” would have sounded like a bad joke—a contradiction in terms. The parable was an invitation for Jews to love Samaritans and Samaritans to love Jews. It is an invitation for people of all times to love their enemies — to love those they have previously hated.


1) “Good Samaritan” to neighbor’s cat: Little Tim was in the garden filling a hole when his neighbor peered over the fence. Interested in what the youngster was doing, he politely asked, “What are you up to there, Tim?” “My goldfish died,” replied Tim tearfully, without looking up, “and I’ve just buried him.” The neighbor said, “That’s an awfully big hole for a goldfish, isn’t it, Tim?” Tim patted down the last heap of earth, and then replied, “That’s because he’s still inside your stupid cat.”

2) “The Good Samaritan-eye.” A man went to see his bank manager to ask for a loan. After he had taken particulars, the bank manager said: “By rights I should refuse your request, but I will give you a sporting chance. Now, one of my eyes is made of glass. If you can tell me which one glass is not, I will grant you the loan.” The customer looked at the manager intently for a few moments and then said: “It’s your right eye.” “That’s correct, said the bank manager.” “How did you guess?” “Well,” replied the customer. It’s your Good Samaritan eye; I mean the kind and sympathetic one.”

3) Danger of becoming a Good Samaritan: Shalom Aleichem tells a delightful story about an old Jewish man standing on a crowded bus. The young man standing next to him asked, “What time is it?” The old man refused to reply. The young man moved on. The old man’s friend, sensing something was wrong, asked, “Why were you so discourteous to the young man asking for the time?” The old man answered, “If I have given him the time of day, next he would want to know where I am going. Then we might talk about our interests. If we did that, he might invite himself to my house for dinner. If he did, he would meet my lovely daughter. If he met her, they would both fall in love. I don’t want my daughter marrying someone who can’t afford a watch.”


1) Fr. Don’ collection of video homilies & blogs: https://sundayprep.org(Copy it on the Address bar and press the Enter button)

2) Video Sunday-Scripture study by Fr. Geoffrey Plant:


3) Dr. Brant Pitre’s commentary on Cycle C Sunday Scripture for Bible Class: https://catholicproductions.com/blogs/mass-readings-explained-year-Biblical basis of Catholic doctrines: http://scripturecatholic.com/

4)Catholic References: Catholic Almanac: http://www.osv.com/catholicalmanac/

5)Catholic Source: http://www.catholicsource.net/

6) Catholic Content for Church Bulletins: http://www.help4editors.com/

Good Samaritan videos

1) https://youtu.be/53Pqw20xK10

2) https://youtu.be/SR2apkX9zwk

3) https://youtu.be/pRuSFVRi-PY

25-Additional Anecdotes:

1) Good Samaritan to a drowning woman: If, in recent years, you have watched the President of the United States deliver the State of the Union Address, you know that at some point in his speech he will point to the balcony and introduce an ordinary citizen as a real hero in this country. You may not know but that custom began when President Ronald Reagan introduced a man named Lenny Skutnik. To this day reporters will ask presidential aides the question: “Who are the Skutniks this year?'” Lenny Skutnik was a federal worker walking down the street minding his own business, until the day that Air Florida Flight 90 crashed into the Potomac River. The flight had just taken off from Washington bound for Florida. It had developed ice on its wings, which brought the plane down as it tried to clear Washington’s 14th Street bridge. In the next moment several passengers were thrown into the icy river. A helicopter soon came by dropping down ropes, but it could only save one person at a time. There was one lady in the water who was struggling to grab the ladder. But she was so cold and so frozen she could not lift her arms out of the water, and it looked like she was going to drown. Everyone else on that bridge was shouting encouragement to her. Lenny Skutnik broke through the police barricade, jumped into the river, risking his own life, and pulled to shore the lady who otherwise would have surely drowned. The President of the United States called him a hero. Do you know what the Lord Jesus would have called him?  A good neighbor.(https://frtonyshomilies.com/).

2)  Louis Pasteur sought a cure. Garfield closed his curtains:  Many of us are afraid of dogs. It is a common fear. The eminent scientist Louis Pasteur was far more frightened of dogs than most people. Even a distant bark would terrify him. In his mind he could still see a mad wolf which had raged through his boyhood village bringing agony and death to many of his neighbors. “I have always been haunted by the cries of those victims,” he said, time and again. Yet in 1882, past the age of 60, Pasteur gave up all his other studies in an intense search for a cure for rabies. For three long years, in spite of his deep-seated fears, he risked his life living with mad dogs. At last he came through with a vaccine to cure the victims of rabies. On a July night in 1885 he tried the first injection on a little boy whose life seemed doomed. The boy lived. The remembered agony of his neighbors spurred Louis Pasteur to find a cure for this dread disease. [Alex Osborn, L.H.D., Your Creative Power (New York: N.Y.: Dell Publishing Co., Inc., 1948).] Let us move now from the sublime to the ridiculous. Some of you are fans of America’s best-known fat cat, Garfield. In one Garfield cartoon, Garfield, seated in a comfortable chair, sees his friend Odie at the window peering in eagerly. Garfield says to himself, “Poor Odie. Locked outside in the cold. I just can’t bear to see him like this. I gotta do something.” At this point Garfield gets up from his chair and closes the curtains! Two responses to need: Louis Pasteur sought a cure; Garfield closed his curtains.(https://frtonyshomilies.com/).

3) Jesus the Good Samaritan; When the Communists came to power in China, not a few Christians were arrested and tried for their faith. One was given the opportunity to reveal why he chose Christianity instead of the religion of his ancestors. I was in a deep pit, he said, sinking in the mire, and helpless to deliver myself. Looking up I saw a shadow at the top, and soon a venerable face looked over the brink and said, “My son, I am Confucius, the father of your country. If you had obeyed my teachings, you would never have been here.” And then he passed on with a significant movement of his finger and a cheerless farewell, adding, “If you ever get out of this, remember to obey my teachings.” But alas! That did not save me. Then Buddha came along, and, looking over the edge of the pit he cried, My son, just count it all as nothing. Enter into rest. Fold your arms and retire within yourself, and you will find NIRWANA, the peace to which we all are tending.” I cried, “Father Buddha, if you will only help me to get out, I will be glad to do so. I could follow your instructions easily if I were where you are, but how can I rest in this awful place?” But Buddha passed on and left me to my despair.

Then another face appeared. It was the face of a man beaming with kindness and bearing marks of sorrow. He did not linger a moment, but leaped down to my side, threw his arms around me, lifted me out of the mire, brought me to the solid ground above, then he did not even bid me farewell, but took off my filthy garments, put new robes upon me, and bade me follow him, saying, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” That is why I became a Christian. As followers of Christ, we can very easily see ourselves in that injured man because we were once dead, badly beaten up by our sins. But we have been spotted by – ‘The Good Samaritan par excellence and our ultimate neighbor, beyond all comparison,’ who healed and delivered us from our sins out of his loving mercy and compassion for us. After he healed us, he entrusted us to his inn, which is his Church, for further spiritual caring and nourishment. And, our Samaritan who saved us is none other than Jesus himself, who said that he will be back someday in the future to take us with him to his Kingdom. This is what St. Paul tells the Colossians in today’s Second Reading, which is actually a Christological hymn: “God wanted all things to be reconciled through him and for him, everything in heaven and on earth, when he made peace by his death on the cross.” (Quoted by Fr. Larka) (https://frtonyshomilies.com/).

  4) ‘Bitte, beten Schwestern.‘ Since we have the Gospel of the Good Samaritan you might think the saint would be Maximillian Kolbe – the Franciscan priest who offered his life in place of a condemned prisoner. He gave a powerful example of self-sacrifice and we will have the opportunity to pray at the starvation bunker where he suffered a slow, painful death. Instead of Maximilian Kolbe, however, I would like to focus on another saint who died in Auschwitz – Edith Stein. Brought up in pious Jewish household, as a teenager she abandoned her faith becoming an atheist. An outstanding philosophy student, one evening she came across the Autobiography of St. Theresa of Avila. She spent all night absorbed in the book. When she reached the conclusion, she closed the book and said, “This is the truth.” By converting to Catholicism in 1922 she rediscovered her Jewish faith and identity. In Holy Week of 1933, after Hitler had taken control of Germany, she told Christ that she knew “it was His Cross that was now being placed on the Jewish people.” The Nazis took away her right to teach and she faced a choice: to flee to America or follow her desire to become a Carmelite sister. Now you might think becoming a cloistered nun is a form of escape. Edith Stein did not see it that way. She wrote her prioress, “Dear Reverend Mother, please permit me to offer myself to the Heart of Jesus as a sacrifice of atonement for true peace, that if possible the reign of Antichrist might be broken without another world war…” Edith Stein, now professed as Sister Teresa Benedicta a Cruce, Sister Teresa Blessed by the Cross, knew something we don’t: the greatest good we can do for a suffering person is to offer ourselves in prayer before Jesus. Sister Teresa gave herself to the rhythm of daily prayer and manual labor – tasks like sewing where she was hopeless. The other sisters made gentle fun, but they soon realized God had blessed their convent with a gifted teacher and mystic. You know what comes next. When the Dutch bishops protested Hitler’s mistreatment of Jews, the Nazis retaliated by arresting some 243 Catholic Jews in Holland. The SS officers told Sister Teresa she had five minutes to gather her belongings. She did it quickly, then with her Carmelite sisters knelt before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. One of the sister’s recounts, “she turned toward us with a red face, but calmly and controlled, saying with a sad voice, ‘Bitte, beten Schwestern.’ (‘Please pray, sisters.’)” The guards also arrested her sister, Rosa – a lay Carmelite. At the moment of departure Teresa was calm; Rosa was white as a sheet. They heard Sister Teresa say, “Rosa, komm, wir gehen fur unser Volk.” Rosa, come, we are going for our people. * Sister Teresa was the Good Samaritan in a double sense: first by offering herself in daily praying and then by offering her life in the Auschwitz gas chamber. In doing so she lived the double commandment of love: God first and then love of neighbor for love of God. (Fr. Phil Bloom) (https://frtonyshomilies.com/).

5) “I’ll be happy to honk your horn for you!” Have you heard the story about the elderly woman who lived in a small town in East Texas who had car trouble on the way to the supermarket one morning? Her car stalled at a stop sign. She tried everything to get her car started again, but no luck. Suddenly, a man in a pick-up truck came up behind her and, with obvious agitation, he started honking his horn at her impatiently. She doubled her efforts to get her car going. She pumped the gas, turned the ignition, but still no luck. The man in the pick-up truck continued to honk his horn constantly and loudly. I love what the elderly woman did. Very calmly she got out of her car, walked back to the pick-up and motioned for the man to lower his window and then politely she said: “I’ll make a deal with you. If you will start my car for me, I’ll be happy to honk your horn for you!” Now, that is what you call “Rising to the occasion!” — and that is precisely what Jesus does here in Luke 10. The lawyer was “testing” Jesus, honking his horn loudly. He was trying to trap Jesus and trip Him up with a loaded question, but Jesus (as He so often did), rose to the occasion and passed the test with flying colors. In so doing, He reminded the people back then (and us today), of what the main thing is in the Christian Faith.(https://frtonyshomilies.com/).

6) Bishop Sheen’s conversion to a Good Samaritan to lepers: Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, in his autobiography Treasure in Clay, recounts a visit he made to a leper colony in Buluba, Africa. He intended to give a silver crucifix to each of the 500 lepers residing in Buluba. The first person who came forward, however, was a man so disfigured by the ravages of leprosy that Sheen was repulsed by the sight. The man’s left arm was eaten off at the elbow by the disease; so he extended his right hand. This hand, too, was unspeakably corrupted by this awful disease. Unable to bear the leper’s presence, Sheen held the crucifix above the man’s palm and dropped it, where it was immediately swallowed up in the decaying flesh. Instantly, Sheen was aware of his unrighteous act. He had taken the crucifix “God’s sign of identification with humanity” and refused to associate himself with one of God’s children. Overcome with remorse, Sheen dug his fingers into the man’s leprosy and removed the crucifix. This time, he gently placed the crucifix in the man’s hand. Sheen respectfully handed a crucifix to each of the remaining 499 lepers and, in the exchange, learned to love them with the love of the Good Samaritan. (https://frtonyshomilies.com/).

7) “When he wakes up, he’ll feel sick, lonely and ashamed.” A well-known leader of the community was found dead drunk, and in public. Allan Emery tells in his book, Turtle on a Fencepost, how his wealthy father sent a chauffeured limousine to pick the man up and bring him to their elegant house. Allan noticed with concern that his mother had prepared the big guest room. There were fresh flowers on the dresser. And, to Allan’s horror, he saw that his mother had made up the handsome four-poster bed with real linen hemstitched sheets and monogrammed linen pillowcases. Allan protested to his mother that she knew nothing about drunks, “that they got sick and the man would throw up all over the bed, sheets, and antique bedspread.” Looking at her perturbed son, his mother said seriously, “When he wakes up, he’ll feel sick, lonely and ashamed. It is important for him to see immediately that he is our honored guest and that we gave him our best.” She knew this man in his disgrace would need all the encouragement he could get. [Ruth Bell Graham, Legacy of a Pack Rat (Nashville, Tennessee: Oliver-Nelson Books, 1989).] He was a leader in his community, but he was a very needy person. And so are we all.(https://frtonyshomilies.com/).

8) A Good Samaritan on highways: Thirty years ago, Tom Weller’s car broke down as he was driving through Southern California. A stranger stopped to help Weller and would accept no payment in return for his kindness. Instead, the stranger asked Weller to return the favor by stopping to help some other stranger somewhere. Tom Weller took those words to heart. For the last thirty years, he has helped thousands of stranded people along Southern California’s highways. He never asks for payment; instead, Tom Weller leaves behind a small business card asking each person to help someone else in need. It has become his mission in life to pass on the kindness that was once done for him. [Charles Kuralt with Peter Freundlich. American Moments (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1998), pp. 74-75.] (https://frtonyshomilies.com/).

9) Good Samaritan to robbery victim: In the book Profiles in Character, Congresswoman Barbara Cubin from Wyoming tells how her character was shaped by the moral influence of her parents. Barbara’s parents divorced when she was young. A few years later, Barbara’s mother remarried. Her new stepfather worked hard to support the family. One particular story demonstrates his great character. Barbara’s birth father, on a visit to Wyoming, was beaten and robbed. At the hospital, a paramedic found his former wife’s phone number on Barbara’s birth father and called the house. Barbara’s stepfather went immediately to the hospital and paid his wife’s ex-husband’s hospital bill. Then he took him to a local motel. The stepfather paid the proprietor of the motel for the father’s room and meals until he had recovered enough to go home. [Representative Barbara Cubin. Profiles in Character (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1996), pp. 68-69.] (https://frtonyshomilies.com/).

10) The philosophy of the priest and Levite: In the spring of 1998, there was a story in the news about a fifteen-year-old boy who bled to death just 35 feet outside the emergency room doors of a Chicago hospital. It seems that the teenager was an innocent bystander who was hit by a bullet when gang members started shooting at each other. After he was shot, friends of his managed to carry him to just outside the hospital, where they left him. But apparently the bleeding youth was left there unattended for 25 minutes because it was against hospital policy for doctors or nurses to go outside the building to treat anyone. Instead, they had to wait for an ambulance to arrive to transport him inside. By the time they finally got him into the hospital, the boy was dead. They were more interested in not getting into trouble violating hospital policy than they were in saving a young man’s life! “What is mine is mine” was the philosophy of the priest and the Levite. (https://frtonyshomilies.com/).

11) Lady Good Samaritan: Dan Rather recalls an eventful elevator ride in a large Florida hotel: After having flown in late during the night, I am now up early to go downstairs and make a speech before several thousand people. I am not in a good mood. In the elevator I feel all eyes on me. “Didn’t any of these people’s mothers teach them that it’s rude to stare?” I am thinking. Soon the elevator reaches the lobby. As it empties, a woman gently takes hold of my sleeve. “Mr. Rather,” she says quietly, “I don’t mean to intrude.” “Then why are you?” I say to myself. She looks around, making sure no one else is listening. “I don’t want this to be embarrassing. But your fly is unzipped and a piece of your shirttail is sticking out through it,” she says. Then she smiles and strides away.(https://frtonyshomilies.com/).

12) “He did not answer the cry for help.” There is a respectable lawyer in Albert Camus’   novel, The Fall. He is walking in the streets of Amsterdam one night and hears a cry. A woman has fallen into the canal and is crying for help. Then the thoughts come rushing through his mind. Of course, he must help, but…a respected lawyer getting involved in this way? What would the implications be? ….what about the personal danger? After all, who knows what has been going on? By the time he has thought it through, it is too late. She has drowned. He moves on, making all kinds of excuses to justify his failure to act. Camus writes, “He did not answer the cry for help. That is the man he was.” [David Shelly, “A Master of Saves,” Presbyterian Survey (July/August 1986).] We would have done better, we tell ourselves, and yet all around us are people in need. Not just physical needs — emotional needs can be more devastating than physical needs. The most serious disease in America today, according to many experts, is loneliness. Many of us could hear cries for help right in our own neighborhood, if we would listen — or in our own families. Why do we not listen? “Do this and live,” said Jesus.(https://frtonyshomilies.com/).

13) “We just did not want to get involved.” Back in 1964, a young woman in her late 20s was attacked on her way home by a man who stabbed her repeatedly and took over a half an hour to murder her. She screamed repeatedly for help and at least 38 people looked down from their apartment windows and watched the crime take place. Not one even bothered to telephone the police. When they were asked later why they had done nothing, they gave the famous response, “We just did not want to get involved.” One of the greatest problems we have in our Church, and every Church, is we have Churches that are full of priests and Levites. A Gallup survey discovered that only 10% of American Church members are active in any kind of personal ministry, and 50% of all Church members have no interest in serving in any ministry. In other words, 50% of the Church is saying loudly and clearly, “We just don’t want to get involved”- [“The attitude of the Priest and the Levite in the Good Samaritan story” Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Church, pp. 365-366.] (https://frtonyshomilies.com/).

14) Good Samaritan Law: Some of you remember the Seinfeld show. In its final episode, which aired at the end of the 1998 TV season, the main characters (Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer), receive a one-year sentence for failing to help someone who was being robbed. What happens is this: Their plane encounters problems, and they are stuck in Lakeland, Massachusetts. Killing time wandering around on the sidewalks in this quaint New England town, they become innocent bystanders and witnesses of a carjacking. Being New Yorkers and the kind of people, they are, they make fun of the guy who is being robbed. Kramer, who has a camcorder in his hands, films the incident as a curiosity. They never lift a hand, never shout out; they are 10 yards away, and couldn’t care less. They just stand there and casually watch! The robber speeds off with the car and the police arrive late on the scene. With the excitement over, and the poor victim standing dazed in the street, Jerry turns to his friends and suggest they go get something to eat. As they walk off the officer stops them and says, “All right, hold it right there.” Jerry: “What?” Officer: “You’re under arrest.” Jerry: “Under arrest, What for?” Officer: “Article 223 dash 7 of the Lakeland county penal code.” Elaine: “What, we didn’t do anything.” Officer: “That’s exactly right. The law requires you to help or assist anyone in danger as long at its reasonable to do so.” George: “I never heard of that.” Officer: “It’s new, it’s called the Good Samaritan Law, Let’s go.” The series ends with them serving their time.(https://frtonyshomilies.com/).

15) “The Member of This Church I Would Most Like to See in Hell.”: Several years ago, a pastor announced (via the sign board in front of his Church) that, come Sunday, he was going to preach on “The Member of This Church I Would Most Like to See in Hell.” What excitement he caused! What a crowd he drew! The church was filled with people who hadn’t been there in ages…. kids who usually walked home after Sunday school….the C and E crowd…. and a bunch of curious Presbyterians who wandered over from next door. Everybody was there. Well, when he finally called a name….he really did call a name…. it was the name of everybody’s favorite Sunday school teacher. Then he went on to say that the reason he most wanted to see her in Hell was because he was sure that, in two or three weeks, given her saintly nature, Hell would be converted and emptied. He didn’t say whether her primary means of accomplishing this would be passing out tracts or by handing out cups of cold water. But he left no doubt that her love of God and neighbor would not allow her to rest comfortably in her place while the rest of us fared miserably in ours.(https://frtonyshomilies.com/).

16) “I Didn’t Speak Up.” Do you remember that poignant and wonderful piece written by Martin Niemoeller? Niemoeller was a German Lutheran pastor who was arrested by the Gestapo and sent to a concentration camp in Dachau in 1938. Amazingly, he survived the prison camp experience and was set free by the Allied Troops in 1945. Out of that horrible experience, Niemoeller wrote these haunting words: “I Didn’t Speak Up….In Germany, the Nazis… came… for the Jews and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me… and by that time there was no one left to speak for me.” (Quoted in Dear Abby, Houston Post, January 31, 1990). The point is clear….We can’t bail out or run away. We can’t detach ourselves and stand to the side. We can’t ignore the troubles of the world. We can’t just wait around expecting someone else to roll up his sleeves and correct the situation for us. If we are to live in the Spirit of Christ, we have to face the problems and deal with them redemptively. (https://frtonyshomilies.com/).

17) Lesson from Ann Jullian: Actress Ann Jullian’s struggle with cancer and her resulting double mastectomy have been much publicized. She allowed her story to be told to encourage and support others who are enduring a similar struggle. Ann’s husband, Andy, extends the same sympathy to the public. His sentiment is best expressed in a comment he made after viewing President Reagan on television. The newscast showed the former President lugging a potted plant to his wife Nancy, a patient at Bethesda Naval Hospital, who had also had a mastectomy. Observing Ronald Reagan’s concern for his beloved spouse, Andy concurred, “I felt sorry for him. He is simply a guy, just like you and me. He may be the President of the United States, but at that moment he was a husband worried about his wife.” Suffering is equitable, for no one is spared. Understanding the pain of our own afflictions makes us more willing to help our hurting neighbor. That help may come as a kind word, a visit, or a comforting embrace. Mother Teresa once put it like this, “The biggest disease today is not leprosy or cancer. It’s the feeling of being uncared for or unwanted, of being deserted and alone. The greatest evil is the lack of love and charity, and an indifference toward one’s neighbor who may be the victim of poverty or disease or exploited and at the end of his life, left at a roadside.” (https://frtonyshomilies.com/).

18) “Here comes my friend Douglass.” Frederick Douglass approached the front door of the White House, seeking admission into Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Ball. Just as Douglass was about to knock on the door, two policemen seized him, barring the black man’s entrance. Douglass, a large, powerful man, brushed the officers aside and stepped into the foyer. Once inside, two more officers grabbed the uninvited guest, all the while uttering racial slurs. As Douglass was being dragged from the hall, he cried to a nearby patron, “Just say to Mr. Lincoln that Fred Douglass is at the door!” Confusion ensued. Then suddenly the officers received orders to usher Douglass into the East Room. In that beautiful room, the great abolitionist stood in the presence of the esteemed President. The place quieted as Lincoln approached his newly arrived guest, hand outstretched in greeting, and speaking in a voice loud enough so none could mistake his intent, the President announced, “Here comes my friend Douglass.” The President had called Frederick Douglass friend. Who dared demean Douglass if he was a friend of the President? Jesus Christ, the Lord of the universe, has called us his brothers and his sisters. God has called us His own children, but not only us — also the person who lies stripped and beaten by the side of the road. He or she is our friend, our neighbor. (https://frtonyshomilies.com/).

19) The good neighbor: An American family was driving cross-country in Alaska in their motor-home when the axle of their vehicle broke and could not be easily fixed. They were in the middle of nowhere. So the father left his family in the motor-home and began to walk in search of help. To his good luck, he came upon an isolated farmhouse. He knocked and a very friendly farmer responded. When he learned of the man’s distress, the farmer just patted him on the shoulder and said he could help. Without wasting a minute, he got into his tractor, drove out and towed the motorhome to his yard. And then, in a very short while, he used his welder and fixed the problem. The American family was extremely relieved and grateful. Taking out his wallet, the father of the family offered to pay, but the farmer would have none of it. “It was my pleasure.” was all he said. “As you can see, I live in isolation and often do not see anybody for weeks and even months. You have given me the pleasure of your company for the last two hours. That is more than adequate compensation.” The American family was greatly impressed to encounter such noble and selfless generosity. It certainly enhanced their belief in the essential goodness of human beings. (James Valladares in Your Words O Lord, Are Spirit and They Are Life; quoted by Fr. Botelho). (https://frtonyshomilies.com/).

20) “Welcome my son!” According to an ancient legend, a king who had no son to succeed him posted a notice inviting young men to come along and apply for adoption into his family. The two qualifications were love of God and love of neighbor. A poor peasant boy was tempted to apply but felt unable to do so because of the rags he wore. He worked hard, earned some money, bought some new clothes, and headed off to try his luck at being adopted into the king’s family. He was half-way there, however, when he came across a poor beggar on the road, who was shivering with the cold. The young lad felt sorry for him, and he exchanged clothes with him. There was hardly much point in going any further towards the king’s palace at this stage, now that he was back in rags again. However, the young man felt that, having come this far, he might as well finish the journey. He arrived at the palace, and, despite the jeers and sneers of the courtiers, he was finally admitted into the presence of the king. Imagine his amazement to see that the king was the old beggar-man he had met on the road, and he was actually wearing the good clothes the young man had given him! The king got down from his throne, embraced the young man, and said “Welcome, my son!” (Jack McArdle in And That’s the Gospel Truth; quoted by Fr. Botelho). (https://frtonyshomilies.com/).

21) Good Samaritans in San Francisco airport: Asiana Flight 214 crash landed at San Francisco airport on July 6, 2013 and caught fire. Half of the 12-person cabin crew suffered injuries.  But 305 out of 307 passengers were saved by the prompt action of Good Samaritans in the persons of the remaining six crew members and the passengers. Two teenagers died on the spot, a third in the hospital, and 70 passengers suffered injuries. Six uninjured crew members oversaw the emergency evacuation of nearly 300 passengers — using knives to slash seatbelts, calling pilots who slung axes to free two colleagues trapped by malfunctioning slides, fighting flames and bringing out frightened children. Lee Yoon-Hye (40) center cabin manager of Asiana Flight 214 had 20 years of experience with Asiana. She and another flight attendant, Ji Youn Kim, lugged injured passengers on their backs off the burning hulk of the Boeing 777. Lee was the last person to leave the burning plane. Passenger Eugene Anthony Rah said: “This tiny woman was carrying people piggyback, running everywhere, with tears running down her face. She was crying, but she was still so calm and helping people.” “I was only thinking about rescuing the next passenger,” Lee said later.  She told the news agency that one of her colleagues carried a frightened elementary school-aged boy on her back off the plane and down the emergency exit slide. Veteran San Francisco police Officer Jim Cunningham charged up the escape chute without a respirator to search for survivors. Benjamin Levy the Silicon Valley venture capitalist, who sat in seat 30K, told the Times that he helped open one of the emergency-exits and helped as many as three-dozen fellow passengers off the plane. It was he who helped Rha, her daughter and dozens of others escape from the back of the plane. (https://frtonyshomilies.com/).

22) James Gilhooley (Homilies.net) Michael Parenti, in Democracy For the Few, advises us of the other half of the picture. “Approximately 1.6 percent of the (US) population own 80 percent of all capital stock, 100 percent of all state and municipal bonds, and 88% percent of all corporate bonds.” At the same time in the United States, millions are being deprived as I speak. One out of four of our children live in poverty. Can you imagine the rage we would feel if 25% of us were unemployed?  Tonight 100,000 homeless kids will have to find a place to sleep. Thirty million of our fellow citizens are illiterate. About thirty-five million have no health insurance. Another sixty million are underinsured. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. advised wisely that our society does need restructuring. And each of us should be pushing the burden up the hill and make sure it gets down the other side. Again, our Bishop speaks, “Direct assistance is good. Tackling the causes is better.” (https://frtonyshomilies.com/).

23) The Best Treatment for Loneliness: Dr. Karl Menninger, the famous American psychiatrist, once gave a lecture on mental health and was answering questions from the audience. One man asked, “What would you advise a person to do if that person felt a nervous breakdown coming on?” Everyone there expected him to answer, “Consult a psychiatrist.” To their astonishment he replied: “Leave your house, go across the railroad tracks, find someone who is in need, and do something to help that person.” (Quoted by Fr. Tony Kayala). (https://frtonyshomilies.com/). 

24) Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood: Aware that the person of the neighbor and the experience of the neighborhood are to be valued and preserved, Fred Rogers and Public Television created a program for children; for 30 years, Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood has offered to a vast young audience an opportunity for being a neighbor and for belonging to a neighborhood where people are cherished and valued, regardless of, and even because of their differences and disabilities. Through his characters, both real and fictional, Rogers continues to teach life lessons about honesty, respect, growing up, individuality, etc. With each program, he renews the invitation, “Won’t you please be my neighbor?” In today’s gospel, Jesus also teaches a life lesson through the characters of the Good Samaritan; once again he renews the invitation to discipleship and challenges believers to consider the question, “Who is my neighbor?” Many, today, complain that the neighborhood is an endangered species and that neighborliness is a dying art. Some blame the very technology that has made the world a global village for further distancing people from one another. After all, how can faceless and nameless “cyberneighbors” surfing the chat rooms of the internet possibly compare with a face to face conversation on the front stoop or porch. Of course, cyberspace keeps the interaction unencumbered, detached, sterile and convenient, but are these the qualities of a neighbor? (Sanchez Files). (https://frtonyshomilies.com/).

25) “I am paying for the next six cars.” An editorial published in a December 1991 issue of Glamour magazine (and quoted by Mark Link in Action 2000, Tabor Pub., Allen, TX: 1993) related the story of a woman driving a red car on a toll road. Pulling up to the tollbooth, she handed the attendant seven tickets. “I am paying for the next six cars,” she said. As each of the cars stopped, the driver was told that the lady in the red car had already paid and “Have a nice day!” The woman in the red car attributed her generosity to something she had read by Anne Herbert: “Practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty.” Herbert suggested that “random kindness” is capable of creating a tidal wave just as “random violence” can. In affirmation of Herbert’s statement, the editor of Glamour extended this challenge: “Like all revolutions, guerilla goodness begins slowly, with a single act. Let it be yours.” In today’s gospel, Jesus is extending a similar challenge to believers, with one notable exception. The followers of Jesus are not called to random acts of kindness but purposeful loving service. (Sanchez Files). (https://frtonyshomilies.com/).

26) He treated him with compassion: Christ’s parable of the compassionate “foreigner” from Samaria is so famous that the term “Good Samaritan” has become proverbial. Joseph Lo Pa-hong of Shanghai was a real-life good Samaritan in the decades before World War II. Unlike the typical Chinese, Joseph was a Catholic, one of a family that had embraced the faith 300 years ago. Unlike the typical Chinese Catholic, he was also a man of means, highly respected in the commercial world of China, and even of Europe, where he had been decorated by the Belgian, French and Italian governments. But however successful he was in business affairs, Lo Pa-hong’s principal concern in life was the spread of the gospel and its ideals of charity.

One day in 1912 when this apostolic man was riding in his rickshaw through the city streets, a beggar approached him for alms. Lo saw the man was deathly sick, so he took him into his carriage to transport him to a hospital. But the hospital would not accept him, and the coolie pulling the rickshaw refused to transport him further because it would “harm his business”. So Joseph eventually hoisted the pauper on his own shoulders and brought him to his own home where he nursed him as well as he could. Other poor people heard of this and asked him to take them in, too. Lo Pa-hong soon opened a special house for the poor. It was the beginning of a series of charitable institutions – 16 in all – that he called St. Joseph’s Hospice. At peak the Hospice had a population of 2000 sick (including ill prison inmates), orphans, abandoned children, etc. Under Joseph’s daily supervision, the Hospice performed all the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. The founder supported it by begging, mostly from his non-Christian business friends.

War, that enemy of Charity, struck China in the 1930’s. The Japanese invaders besieged Shanghai. Lo Pa-hong lost much of his wealth in the siege. During the violence that followed, he lost his very life. On July 30, 1937 he set out from the Hospice to get some rice for his poor. Two assassins in the streets, mistaking his purpose, fired at him point-blank. The victim was taken to the hospital, received the last rites and died a few hours later. Given the opportunity before he died, this saintly Chinese Samaritan would doubtless have forgiven his murderers with all his heart. After all, they had made him a martyr to charity. -Father Robert F. McNamara). (https://frtonyshomilies.com/). L/22

 “Scriptural Homilies” Cycle C (No. 42) by Fr. Tony: akadavil@gmail.com

Visit my website by clicking on https://frtonyshomilies.com/ for missed or previous Cycle C homilies, 141 Year of FaithAdult Faith Formation Lessons” (useful for RCIA classes too) & 197 “Question of the Week.” Contact me only at akadavil@gmail.com. Visit https://www.catholicsermons.com/homilies/sunday_homilies  of Fr. Nick’s collection of homilies or Resources in the CBCI website:  https://www.cbci.in.  (Special thanks to Vatican Radio website http://www.vaticannews.va/en/church.html -which completed uploading my Cycle A, B and C homilies in May 2020)  Fr. Anthony Kadavil, Chaplain, Sacred Heart Residence of the Little Sisters of the Poor, 1655 McGill Ave, Mobile, AL 36604