Fellow travelers

Teresa Lo
chifan103@gmail.com

The Gospel comes alive in our lives all the time if we pay close attention to what is happening in and outside of us.  I experienced a dramatic healing on a Sunday afternoon under the care of two most beautiful Samaritans during the time of my eight-day retreat. The parable as told by Jesus has become a mysterious metaphor recurred in my workaday life in its own magnificent way.

Two days after the end of my retreat, I wanted to take an evening promenade alongside the reservoir, giving myself some quiet moments to reflect on what God has said to me.

Out of curiosity, I walked up a long staircase leading to an unknown path whose end was blinded by the trees.  The lights were dim. Halfway through, I paused, fearing that the bleak quietness might be signals of hidden danger.  I turned back, descending the staircase, there I was, missing a big step and losing my balance.  The left ankle was swelling up.

A couple passed by, asking me if I needed assistance.  The lady delicately walked me down the stairs, saying they would come back and brought me home if the pain persisted.  Upon returning home, I called a dear friend, who happened to finish her evening mass close by and en route to my house.  She laid her warm hands on my sore foot, while waiting for the ice cubes to be formed in the freezer.

The night was spent at peace, despite the seething pain. In the morning that followed, I had an appointment with my colleagues in the teachers’ catechism class. “That’s quite a walking challenge,” I thought. The distance between my house and the bus stop was manageable, yet the one from the final bus stop to the school seemed a bit far. God took care of that part too, by sending forth a surprising traveler.  Right after the morning mass, I met Sr. Judith, a rare guest in my parish, said she just changed her usual place of mass.  Not only did she offer me her arm while walking, she invited me to join the ride to school as a teacher would soon come and pick her up in her car.

I arrived at school twenty minutes early, and ate my breakfast in the basement. A colleague came, noticing the wounded foot.  She said Christopher, her son, was about to send the cooking utensils somewhere outside later, and might drive me to the doctor’s clinic.

Then came the call of another dear friend, who touched me deeply when she said she was queuing up for me in the doctor’s clinic and asked me not to hurry.  I told her I forgot to bring the purse in haste.  She understandingly said she would take care of the payment.

For the rest of the day, a few more good Samaritans added in, like an army of angels descending from heaven.

How mesmerizing the picture is!  The image of the Samaritan can be traced back to my childhood days, continued and prolonged in my days in school and in every moment of the day.

The first month of the scholastic year — the preparation of St. Francis’ Feast Day — was supposedly the toughest and wildest to me being made the main coordinator of the event. I was panting for ideas just like a thirsty man dying for water.  But with the intercessions of this gentle saint, grace fell on me like raindrops from the sky.

In my inability to carry on the big plan, then came two good Samaritans, personified in Ms. Anna and Ms. Sarita who not only did a most ingenuous sharing , but also made themselves open to God’s glory shining through.  The Samaritan nature, or God’s mercy, was further amplified with Mr. Lee’s positive reply in supplying me with some of the best and cute dancers in his dancing team.

The good Samaritan in Jesus’ parable “approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them. Then he lifted him up on his own animal, took him to an inn and cared for him” (Luke 10:34). Anna, Sarita and Mr. Lee were my fellow travelers in the journey, having shared their precious time, unique presence and personal resources.

“Christ and the Samaritan Woman” 1624 or 1626 Abraham Bloemaert, Dutch (1566–1651) Oil on canvas
“Christ and the Samaritan Woman” 1624 or 1626 Abraham Bloemaert, Dutch (1566–1651) Oil on canvas

Be they Catholics or non-Catholics, they bob up when they are needed most, partaking beautifully in the great plan of God without even knowing that the Divine dance has begun. The beleaguered me was ultimately taken up to the safe inn, feeling bright, warm and clean within.

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