28th Sunday of the Ordinary Time
1st Reading: 2 Kings 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.”
2nd Reading: 2 Timothy 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.
Gospel: Luke 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.”
GOD DRAWS US TO HIMSELF: A magnet is a piece of metal with a strong attraction to a metal. The attraction a magnet produces is called a magnetic field.God is like a magnet because he attracts people towards himself. Both believers and non-believers in the living God are within this field. God attracts people because he created them in his image and likeness. What pulls people towards God is their faith in him. It is faith which brought Naaman to the living God. It is faith which made the Samaritan cleansed of leprosy to come back to thank Jesus. Both Naaman and the Samaritans who had been cleansed by Jesus, being created in the image and likeness of God, were within God’s magnetic field. Faith is expressed through a loving commitment to serving God and to others, and thanksgiving to God for such a gift of faith. If a person finds praying to God or attending Mass to be a burden, then he/she should re-think about his/her faith in the living God.
Prayer: Lord, may people never cease to long to be in your magnetic presence.
OUR “LEPROSY”: Leprosy was believed to be God’s punishment for the sins they had committed. They were hated and despised. To be cured of leprosy was like being born again. He gets back into the community (Luke 17:11-19). Our sins separates us from the community. We become “lepers,” when we cut ourselves off from the life of the Church, and from the community. Jesus’ forgiving mercy can re-admit us into the community. God heals and cleanses us through the sacrament of reconciliation. The faith of the Samaritan leper (Luke 17:11-19) returned to Jesus to thank him for gift of healing. Our faith too should lead us to Jesus so that he may cure us of our “leprosy”. Then we too will give him thanks all the days of our life.