Sunday, 15 July 2007

A good neighbour?

There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test him 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 live.”

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.
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.”

I went to mass today. Yes, I confess I'm a lousy Catholic since I don't go to mass every Sunday and sometimes I forget to pray. But I'm working on it...

I belong to a very tiny parish, we're only about 20 "regulars" and some times tourists come to mass as they pass by the church and find out there's actually a Catholic church here in Tetuán. Being a Catholic in a Muslim country is not easy, because we're not allowed to talk about our faith in public and we can't walk around with a Bible, showing it to people. Anything that could be considered trying to convert people to Christianity would lead to deportation right away or some time in jail. So we're really like a small secret club. *lol*

Anyway, today I managed to go to mass on time and as always it was the best time of the week. Our padre Jesús is half blind but he knows how to make a great sermon. Today he talked about neighbors and how we, as Christians, should help anyone who crosses our path, no matter what religion he belongs to, his social status, the color of his skin, if he's a sinner or a saint or whatever. Our first duty is to work enough to feed our family and when we have that basic need fulfilled we should give the rest to the ones in need. No, he didn't mean that we should give all our earthly belongings to charity. *lol* There is so much more than money. Sometimes spending time with a friend or a stranger can make a huge difference. But whatever you do you, you should give it for free, without wanting anything in return. Only then you're treating others like they were your neighbors.

Now I see clearly that I've been doing God's will all along. I've been working for free for some months now, as a volunteer teacher, and so many people have told me I'm crazy to work for free. Well, obviously I'm not crazy. Next time someone calls me crazy I can say I'm only doing my duty as a Christian. Hopefully I'll be able to be a good role model to the other Christians in this area who have lost faith.


Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur said...

Hi Mayogi,

Thank you for visiting my blog! I can't even imagine how difficult it must be to be in such a minority as a Catholic in a Muslim country. I admire your strength and your commitment to the faith.

Wishing you many blessings,

Mayogi said...

Thank you Patrice!

I love your blog, it's a big help to me. It's nice to get to know other Catholic moms, because we're only 2 who attend mass on a regular basis.

God bless!