Dare to Care
Aris Canoy Espinosa was a 13 year old boy from Lanao del Norte. He was Grade 6 and was graduating that year. But on January 30, 1994 practically 3 months before graduation, Aris did something other boys could not forget. He did something very significant and memorable that cost him his life.
Around 2pm of January 30, some boys in his school were playing with a hand grenade like a toy. Accidentally it dropped near young elementary children who were playing rubber bands. Aris was quick to size up the situation. He jumped and covered the grenade with his body to protect innocent lives. It exploded and caused his untimely death.
Because of his gallantry, the Boys Scouts of the Philippines awarded him a posthumous recognition. He was given a Gold Medal of Honor. Aris was a “Good Samaritan.”
In this Sunday’s Gospel (Lk 10:25-37), Jesus tells the story of the Good Samaritan. Among Jesus’ Parables, this one and the Parable of the Prodigal Son are most outstanding. Today, the term “Good Samaritan” has become part of our common metaphor which refers to someone who helps another out of compassion, especially a stranger, with no thought of reward.
The Good Samaritan among us are indicative that there is in each person a basic trait of goodness. People are basically good! There is a part in us nga motabang jud.. maluoy jud! Even going out of our way to reach out to others.
The telling of this story was occasioned by a scholar of the law who asked Jesus: “How can I go to heaven?” Jesus replies – you only need 2 things to go to heaven:
One – love God! But really love God with everything you got – with all your mind, heart, will, strength – all of it! Way tihik-tihik..
Second – love your neighbor
At the end of the parable, Jesus teaches him and us that love is an active word. Love should push us to action even helping those who don’t deserve our help.
Jesus challenges us to dare to care like the sympathetic Samaritan. In the parable, there are 6 compassionate action that he did:
· He approached the victim
· He poured oil and wine
· He bandaged his wounds
· He lifted him on his donkey
· He took him to an Inn
· He cared for him
To CARE for others, therefore, requires 5 things:
1. Consciousness – being aware and feeling the need
2. Compassion – love in action / practical love
3. Contact – getting involved with the lives of others
4. Courage – not being afraid of taking the risk
5. Cost – paying the price / inconvenience
Today’s culture encourages us to be cautious, calculating and callous. It forms us to be indifferent and insensitive to the needs to others. But Jesus invites us to dare to care!
Martin Luther King Jr made this reflection based on the Parable of the Good Samaritan. He said that the road from Jerusalem to Jericho was a winding road, conducive for ambush. It was traditionally named “way of blood.” When they saw the victim, the Priest and the Levite asked: “If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?” The robbers might still be around or this man may be just faking to have the chance to ambush and rob him.
But the Samaritan asked a different question: “If I do not help this man, what will happen to him?” He was compassionate, concerned and truly cared.
Martin Luther King Jr. makes a step further. He suggests that let’s not just be Good Samaritan. Let’s work for the betterment and transformation of our society. This means removing the robbers and thieves along the road from Jerusalem to Jericho.
“We are called to play the good Samaritan on life’s roadside; but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life’s highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.”
Today, we need not just a Good Samaritan who will die for others like Aris Espinosa. What we urgently need are Good Samaritans who will help in cleaning up and transforming our country’s “Jericho Road” from thieves and robbers.Disclaimer: This section of the website is a personal creative writing of the author and does not necessarily reflect the official views, opinion, or policies of the Salesians of Don Bosco – Philippines South Province. For concerns on the content, style, and grammar of this piece, please contact us.