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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time (C)
1st Reading (2Kgs 5:14-17): Naaman went down and plunged into the Jordan seven times at the word of Elisha, the man of God. His flesh became again like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean of his leprosy. Naaman returned with his whole retinue to the man of God. On his arrival he stood before Elisha and said, «Now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel. Please accept a gift from your servant». Elisha replied, «As the Lord lives whom I serve, I will not take it»; and despite Naaman's urging, he still refused. Naaman said: «If you will not accept, please let me, your servant, have two mule-loads of earth, for I will no longer offer holocaust or sacrifice to any other god except to the Lord».
Responsorial Psalm: 97
R/. The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done wondrous deeds; his right hand has won victory for him, his holy arm.

The Lord has made his salvation known: in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice. He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness toward the house of Israel.

All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation by our God. Sing joyfully to the Lord, all you lands: break into song; sing praise.
2nd Reading (2Tim 2:8-13): Beloved: Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David: such is my gospel, for which I am suffering, even to the point of chains, like a criminal. But the word of God is not chained. Therefore, I bear with everything for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, together with eternal glory. This saying is trustworthy: If we have died with him we shall also live with him; if we persevere we shall also reign with him. But if we deny him he will deny us. If we are unfaithful he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself.
Versicle before the Gospel (1Thess 5:18): Alleluia. In all circumstances, give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Lk 17:11-19): As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem, he traveled through Samaria and Galilee. As he was entering a village, ten lepers met him. They stood at a distance from him and raised their voices, saying, "Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!" And when he saw them, he said, "Go show yourselves to the priests." As they were going they were cleansed.

And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. He was a Samaritan. Jesus said in reply, "Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?" Then he said to him, "Stand up and go; your faith has saved you."

"Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!"

Fr. Antoni CAROL i Hostench (Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain)

Today, once again, we may substantiate how our attitude of faith may stir up Jesus Christ's heart. The fact is that some lepers, overcoming the social dislike they all suffered, and quite boldly too, came to meet Jesus and —we could say in quotation marks— coerced Him with their trustworthy petition: "Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!" (Lk 17:13).

Jesus' reaction is immediate and sudden: "Go show yourselves to the priests" (Lk 17:14). He, who is the Lord, shows His power, for “as they were going they were cleansed” (Lk 17:14).

This attests that the measure of Christ's miracles is, precisely, the measure of our faith and confidence in God. What else are we to do —poor creatures— in front of God, but trust Him? But with an operative faith, that forces us to abide by God's wishes. A minimum of common sense will suffice to understand that “nothing is too difficult to believe in if referring to He, whom nothing is too difficult for” (Cardinal J. H. Newman). If we do not see more miracles it is because we do not really ‘obligate’ our Lord, lacking confidence and obedience to Him. As St. John Chrysostom said, “little faith can achieve a lot.”

And, a flood of joy and gratitude crowned that faith in God when, “one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him” (Lk 17:15-16).

But..., what a shame! Out of ten benefiting from that great miracle, only one came back. How ungrateful we are when we so easily forget that all we have comes from God and that we owe everything to Him! Let us resolve to oblige him from now on while demonstrating our gratitude and faith in Him.

Thoughts on Today's Gospel

  • “Let us follow after Christ and pray to the Father together with him. Let us not emulate Judas by departing from Christ, after partaking of his favors and dining excellently with him.” (Saint Thomas More)

  • “Our God is a God who is approaching us. A God who is close. A God who started walking with His people and then became one of them, in Jesus Christ, to become close. With that closeness that gave encouragement to those ten lepers to ask Him to clean them up... No one wanted to miss that closeness.”

  • “Every joy and suffering, every event and need can become the matter for thanksgiving which, sharing in that of Christ, should fill one's whole life: "Give thanks in all circumstances" (1 Thess 5:18)” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2648)