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Sunday, July 10, 2016

My Lord says ... Luke 10: 25-37


There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test Jesus and said,  “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”  Jesus said to him,  “What is written in the law?  How do you read it?”  He said in reply, 

                “You shall love the Lord, your God,
                   with all your heart,
                   with all your being,
                   with all your strength,
                   and with all your mind,
                   and your neighbor as yourself.”

He replied to him,  “You have answered correctly;  do this and you will.” But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus,  “And who is my neighbor?”  Jesus replied,  “A man fell victim to robbers as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho.  They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead.  A priest happened to be going down that road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.  Likewise a Levite came to the place, and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.  But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight.  He approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them.   and Then he lifted him up on his own animal, took him to an inn, and cared for him.  The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction.  “Take care of him.  If you spend more than what I have given you, I shall repay you on my way back.”  Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?”  He answered,  “The one who treated him with mercy.”  Jesus said to him,  “Go and do likewise.”

When I moved to a new, big city, I was exposed for the first time to the street children in dirty clothes and walking barefooted, who are either roaming around the city or staying in foot bridge begging.  One day, I spotted a young boy, probably 10 years old, who is blind, sitting at the 5th step of the foot bridge.  I asked him why he was there and how he got there by himself because he is blind.  He said, “I left the house without the knowledge of my mother, walking by touching walls or things that I can barely see.  I got accustomed to doing it and got familiar with the place.  My mother works as a laundry woman and my father left us.”   Moved with compassion, I asked the boy if he has eaten his lunch already, as it was past noon that time.  I saw only few coins in his little, dirty hand.   I asked him again where he eats when hungry while begging and he replied,  “There is a little canteen under this foot bridge that I go and eat.  Upon knowing it, I told him to go and show it to me. I observed the young boy how he managed to walk and touch anything, so he could reach the small canteen.   Several steps only, he was there already and I told him to wash his hands first before he eats his meal.  He knows where the washing area is and then chose a table, while I ordered a meal for him and paid for it.  I served him his meal, while I noticed that another little boy seated in the same table  facing the blind boy.  He was in good clothes, at least, better than the blind boy.  He said he watched over the blind boy while begging because he is his friend.  I offered him also to have a meal, but he refused because he said he ate his lunch already.  Afterwards, I left them eating in the canteen and went on my way just walking. 

Next situation-- there were 3 young children in shabby, dirty clothes also and walking barefooted also in the different footbridge.  Two young boys and a young girl who has a swollen face due to physical abuse by someone that she didn’t tell.  Upon seeing them, I just thought of giving them a free meal, too, instead of money.  I just thought that it’s better to give in kind because the money can be used for other else, like to buy drugs. Street children can be exposed to drugs and alcohol or lead them to other vices.    As they approached me, I told them that a free meal was all I could give.  They were happy; at least, food is better than having nothing at all.  I brought them to the same canteen under the foot bridge where the blind boy referred me to.  I bought 3 meals for them and as usual, I told them to go the washroom first to wash their hands.  Before eating, I asked them to pray and I was surprised to know that at least, these children still know there is God and was thankful for the free meal they received. She said,  “Very good, you know how to say the prayer before meal, even in English.” While eating their meals, it was at this moment that one older woman called my attention  and complained that the children should stay outside the canteen to eat.  For her, their presence was causing their other customers not to enter their canteen to eat.   I became irritated and replied to her, “These children should not be discriminated and should be treated equal, as I paid for the food they got.”  After saying this to the older woman, I left the young children eating, while other customers were looking at me.  I went on my way just walking again….  

" I will sing of your salvation. In you, O Lord, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame. In your justice rescue me and deliver me; incline your ear to me, and save me. Be my rock of refuge, a stronghold to give me safety, for you are rock and my fortress. O my God, rescue me from the hand of the wicked. For you are my hope, O Lord, my trust, O God from my youth. On you I depend my birth; from my mother's womb, you are my strength. My mouth shall declare your justice, day by day your salvation. O God, you have taught me from my youth, and till the present I proclaim your wondrous deeds."
Psalm 71:1-2, 3-4a

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