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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Wednesday of the Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (Titus 3:1-7): Beloved: Remind them to be under the control of magistrates and authorities, to be obedient, to be open to every good enterprise. They are to slander no one, to be peaceable, considerate, exercising all graciousness toward everyone. For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, deluded, slaves to various desires and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful ourselves and hating one another. But when the kindness and generous love of God our savior appeared, not because of any righteous deeds we had done but because of his mercy, he saved us through the bath of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he richly poured out on us through Jesus Christ our savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life.
Responsorial Psalm: 22
R/. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. In verdant pastures he gives me repose; beside restful waters he leads me; he refreshes my soul.

He guides me in right paths for his name's sake. Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side with your rod and your staff that give me courage.

You spread the table before me in the sight of my foes; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Only goodness and kindness follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for years to come.
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 voice, 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.”

«He fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him»

Fr. Conrad J. MARTÍ i Martí OFM (Valldoreix, Barcelona, Spain)

Today, Jesus passes by close to us so that we can actually relive the above mentioned passage in the shape of so many people relegated to an outer edge by our society, and who look at us Christians as their only possibility to find Jesus' love and goodness. In the days of the Lord, lepers were totally marginalized. In fact, those ten lepers met Jesus “as he was entering a village” (Lk 17:12), as they were not allowed in the villages, nor could they get any close to people (“They stood at a distance from him and raised their voice”).

With some imagination, each one of us can reproduce the image of those outcasts in our own society, who also have names and surnames, like we do: immigrants, drug addicts, wrongdoers, AIDS victims, unemployed, destitute... Jesus wants to heal them, to remedy their suffering, to solve their problems; and He expects our unselfish, free, efficient collaboration... for love.

We can also assume Jesus' lesson for us. For we are sinners and in need of forgiveness, we are beggars who depend totally on him. Would we be able to say like the leper “Jesus, Master! Have pity on me!” (cf. Lk 17:13)? Do we know how to turn to Jesus with a profound and confident prayer?

Do we imitate the cleansed leper that goes back to Jesus thanking him out loud? In fact, only “And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud Voice” (Lk 17:15). Jesus finds the other nine missing: “Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? (Lk 17:17). St. Augustine gave the following sentence: “‘Thanks God!’: nothing shorter can be said (...) or made more efficiently than with these words.” Accordingly, how do we thank God for the great gift of our life, and that of our family; for the grace of the faith, the Holy Eucharist, the forgiveness of sins...? Is it not true that quite often we do not thank him for the Eucharist, even though we may be frequently participating of it? The Eucharist is, no doubt, our best daily experience.