Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time.

One of the questions that often baffle (puzzle) us is; where is God? We all remember the answer of the catechism; God is everywhere. There are many ways of meeting God. We can find God in the world, we can find God in ourselves, and we can find God in our neighbour. To meet God in the world we need study, to meet him in ourselves we need prayer, and to meet him in our neighbour we need action. Prayer, study and action can be called the tripod of the spiritual life of every Christian.  Our story today epitomises action, the Samaritan found God in his neighbour. Story told of a tyrannical Ruler who held his people in bondage, but he could not destroy their faith. He called an emergency meeting with his closest advisors for possible solutions. Where could we hide God? was subject for discussion. One said: behind the stars, the Ruler answered one day they will conquer space and find him there. Another suggested at the bottom of the sea. One day the will plumb the depths of the ocean, and they will find him there. Finally an old wise man stood up and suggested that they could hide him among the people, they will never think of looking for him there. This is the last place that many of us think of looking for God. There is a humorous story, which illustrates this. An American was on a visit to the Vatican. Since Pope was out of town they were shown the inner sanctum. Pontiff’s desk he saw a gold telephone and was told it was a direct line to God. When asked could he use it, they told him it would cost him half a million dollars. He decided not to place a call. On his way home to America, he stopped off in Ireland to trace his roots. After finding the parish of his ancestors he went to see the priest and as he sat browsing through the old registers he noticed a gold telephone on the priest’s desk. He was told that it was a direct line to God. When he inquired about the cost, he was told that it was only 10. The American said that they wanted to charge him half a million in the Vatican. The priest answered; here it’s only a local call. We must learn to find God in our neighbour who is very close to us. The priest and the Levite in today’s story were devout people and wanted to find God but they failed to find God in their neighbour and they passed by. As we go our daily rounds we encounter many people need help; who need our time, who need a kind word, etc. Think of the many people who are sick in our community, think of the many who are victims of loneliness, depression. Many times we fail to go out of way to help others because we don’t mix with them, etc. Many times we lack compassion for our neighbour because of prejudice, lack of forgiveness, failing to give in. We like the priest and the Levite do not want to put ourselves out for our neighbour. At the end of the story Jesus says to the lawyer, ‘Go and act like the Samaritan’. Those words are spoken to us today too. And since we are still on the road, we can still carry them out.