Greetings on this the Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Readings: 2 Kgs 5:14-17; Ps 98:1, 2-3, 3-4; 2 Tm 2:8-13; Lk 17:11-19
Notes: It is useful to compare the two leper stories in the Gospel of Luke. The Mark and Matthew versions are not as useful to compare for today’s focus. The freedom of faith is expressed in gratitude. God will always be kind to us. Our gratitude is the mark of faith.
The Cause of the Lepers in Gospel of Luke
- Single Leper: Luke chapter 5:12-16
- Ten Lepers: Luke chapter 17:11-19
- (S) he saw Jesus, he fell prostrate, pleaded with him, and said, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.
- (T) They stood at a distance from him and raised their voice, saying, “Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!
- (S) Go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.
- (T) And when he saw them, he said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” As they were going they were cleansed.
- (S) And the leprosy left him immediately.
- (T) As they were going they were cleansed.
The Long Effect
- (S) Then he ordered him not to tell anyone, but … The report about him spread all the more (Jesus was unable to perform any more miracles).
- (T) 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. Then he said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.
- Out of the eleven that were cured of Leprosy only one of the ten (and not the eleventh either) came back to thank and praise God his aid. Freedom to praise and thank God.
- CCC 2097 To adore God is to acknowledge, in respect and absolute submission, the “nothingness of the creature” who would not exist but for God. To adore God is to praise and exalt him and to humble oneself, as Mary did in the Magnificat, confessing with gratitude that he has done great things and holy is his name. The worship of the one God sets man free from turning in on himself, from the slavery of sin and the idolatry of the world.
Postscript: While preaching this homily yesterday I reminded everyone of a few things which I want to share here.
The Jews among the ten were instructed to go show themselves to the priests for a proper reintegration into the community through the prescribed rituals and offerings. Jesus himself knows this necessity as it was prescribed by G-d.
The Samaritan had nowhere else to go. He would not have been invited into the liturgical practices or into the temple area or to be anywhere near the priests for the purification rituals.
But the gift of the Samaritan for all of us is to get us to the core of the purpose of the liturgy the Jewish lepers would undergo. That is to say, Gratitude (our theme today).
Conclusion: Of all our liturgy and ritual (and they are all important and profitable to a faithful man), at its core is the grain offering of gratitude. For the Samaritan he did not have access to the grain offering but instead displays so wonderfully the faith equal to the ritual.
My ending of the story (this is my ending to the story, so let me have it). The Jews went back to the temple and followed the prescribed ritual and liturgy. When the grain offering came, they were filled with gratitude and cried tears of joy that the ritual had its most perfect effect. Maybe they heard Jesus spiritually and answered well. As the for Samaritan, he followed Jesus and developed personally along with the Church in the new Covenant, He stayed joyful the rest of his days.
Remember, faith is: (1) I know you hear me when I call out to you; and (2) You will aid me in my need. They asked to be made clean, to have pity. And so he did, he did indeed.
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.”
The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
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.
Beloved: Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David.
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.
In all circumstances, give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.
Then he said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.”
Peace be with you,