Thursday, March 11, 2010

Bad News for Good Samaritans

If we read our Bibles and pray every day, we will grow, grow, and grow in the knowledge that serving God and serving our neighbor is actually one commandment. This is explicit in Luke 10. If God is our parent, as Jesus taught us, then we are family—Kapamilya at Kapuso—we are sisters and brothers. God’s question to Cain, found in Genesis, remains the same—“Where is your brother? Where is your sister?”

Yesterday, today, and tomorrow—our primary task, no, our primary responsibility as a child of God is to be each other’s keepers. The only way to serve God our Parent is to serve God’s children, is to love our brothers and sisters. This is the surprise of the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats in Matthew 25. This is the message of the Johannine gospel and epistles. This is the heart of the Letter of James. This is the gist of the Law according to Paul as found in Romans 13:9 and Galatians 5:14.

This is the point of the Parable of the Samaritan. Among the Priest, the Levite, and the Samaritan who chanced upon the wounded Jew on the road connecting Jerusalem and Jericho, the Samaritan was the one who showed mercy, the one who was neighbor to the person who was left half-dead, the one who stopped and helped a brother in need.

That is why we call the Samaritan Good. He did what the Law required. He did what Jesus commanded. But more importantly, he did what sisters and brothers do for one another. Like the Morong 43. We call health workers Good Samaritans. We even have Good Samaritan Hospitals to celebrate what they do for the sick, for the wounded, for the ill, for those whose only hope is God.

Community-based health workers, most especially, minister to the “least among Jesus’ sisters and brothers.”

Thus, the Morong 43’s illegal arrest, their continuing illegal detention, the torture many of them have experienced, the harassment they endure, and the lies that the military has spun about them have driven a shocked world to ask, “Has the Arroyo administration gone mad?” Only in the Philippines, under this morally bankrupt administration, are Good Samaritans demonized and victimized.

This madness should stop now. If there is a hell, then Arroyo and her minions do not deserve to go there. They deserve worse.
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