Our freedom from foreign bondage was brought about because of the people who sacrificed their lives for the sake of our country. Those were our heroes, people whose love for our country transcend beyond their fear of death. They fleshed-out the essence of patriotism, the love of one’s country. It is the applied theology of the command “love thy neighbor as thy self.” It is the barometer of the question raised by the attorney to Christ, “who is my neighbor?” It is practical theology.
For us Filipinos, love of country has to establish its roots deeper into the meaning of this kind of love. The story of the Good Samaritan gives wisdom that it is not merely the love of our national heritage and name we are to concern about, but the love and concern for those whom we consciously or unconsciously detest, people we may abhor and people we may hate.
The story of the Good Samaritan is a culture-shaking, mind-boggling parable to the Jews of that time. Its meaning may be less appreciated by Filipinos in this era, but its profound truth teaches that love of one’s neighbor goes beyond the love for those who love us, but extending compassion to those who even oppress us and are not worthy of any single compassion.
It is a call to love enemies and haters and oppressors, as the Samaritan poured love to his hater- the Jew. This is the true meaning of Independence- not merely freedom from outside bondage, but freedom from the sin that bondages us inside.
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