Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

October 9, 2022

Sister Evangeline Salazar, OSB shares a reflection on the scripture readings: 2 Kings, 5:14-17; 2 Timothy 2:8-13; Luke 17:11-19

Gratitude? Perhaps,

10 lepers healed

One a Samaritan

He returned to say thank you,

Where are the other nine?

Jesus asked.

They did what they were told.

Went to show themselves to the priest.

If not gratitude

Then what?

Who were these lepers?

They asked for mercy.

Did not specify what mercy meant.

Were they like beggars

Asking for food, or alms?

Did they know Jesus?

Did they know Jesus might heal them?

Jesus did not touch them

Did not come near them.

He sent them to show themselves to the priest.

Mysteriously, as they went on their way they were healed.

And the one?

Did he know?  Did he feel something more?

He didn’t show himself to the priest.

 He knew he was healed and more

He jumped for joy, crazed with delight,

Shouting God’s praises.  Fell at the feet of Jesus

And thanked Him.

What about the nine?

Jesus asked.

Ten were healed

And only one returned to say thank you.

What was/is the significance of this?

Think about this.

The nine were also healed

Neither by touch nor word

Jesus said, go show yourselves to the priest

They went

They were healed.

Was it obedience? Which is a kind of Faith.

They did what Jesus told them to do

They fulfilled the law.

And they were healed.

What set the one apart from the others?

The Samaritan realized

He was offered more than a cure.

He not only received the mercy he asked for

He discerned more was in the offering

In the end, Jesus tells the one

Rise up, your faith has saved you.

By falling at the feet of Jesus

And singing loud praises

He demonstrated he recognized

God acting through Jesus.

He received more than a simple cure.

He underwent a metanoia,

Received a revelation that changed his life.

In the words of Pope Francis,

He had encountered the Joy of the Gospel

Which “fills the hearts and lives

Of all who encounter Jesus.

Those who accept His offer of salvation

Are set free from sin, sorrow,

Inner emptiness and loneliness,”

He had learned that

With Christ joy is constantly born anew.” (Evangelii Gaudium)

We are encouraged to give thanks to God, but that moral sells the story short.

Ten people with leprosy asked to be cleansed.

Nine received their health and returned to normal living.

The one person somehow realized more was available than he has imagined.

He was more than restored.

His interaction with Jesus

Brought him into God’s healing Prescence

Sister Mary M. McGlone ends her reflection on this Gospel

With these words: This incident, told as a story, becomes a parable about prayer.  We can ask for what we need and rejoice when we receive it.  We can live as ordinary religious people, grateful for what we have. Or we can make the subtext of every prayer a plea that we may recognize and be ready to receive the joy God wants to give us. As St. Paul assures us, we are constantly being offered more than we could ask or imagine. That’s the breadth of the mercy of God.


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