28th Sunday O.T Year C
The Ten Lepers. Do you thank God?
“Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?”
Dear brethren in Christ, today’s Sunday readings remind us of the importance of being grateful to God for all that we are and all that we have are gifts from God. It is important to note that be it in the 1st reading and the Gospel, those who thanked God were the Gentiles,- that is, those who were not Israelites, the pagans- to underline the fact that God’s saving plan is universal: He has come to save all humanity, independently of race or religion and His grace does not consider racial differences. All salvation passes by and through Our Lord Jesus Christ.
- In the 1st reading (2 Kgs 5:14–17), we see Naaman, the Assyrian, despite his initial reluctance, obeyed Elisha and was cured of his leprosy after plunging into the waters of Jordan river seven times. This miracle led Naaman, the Syrian, return to Elisha to offer tokens and gifts as a sign of his gratitude, but most of all, led him to proclaim that “there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel.”
- Gratitude is the attitude which leads one to a life of faith. The more we thank God, the more He grants us graces to believe, hope and love.
- In the Gospel, we see how the 10 lepers, observing what was prescribed in the Mosaic Law, upon seeing Jesus, shouted from a distance: “Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!”
- “The Law of Moses laid down, to prevent the spread of the disease, that lepers should live away from other people and should let it be known that they were suffering from this disease (cf. Lev 13:45-46). This explains why they did not come right up to Jesus and his group, but instead begged his help by shouting from a distance (Commentary, Navarre Gospel of St. Luke).”
- What was Our Lord’s response? Jesus did not ignore the prayer of the lepers. He ordered them to go to the priests to have their cure certified (cf. Lev l4:2ff), and to perform the rites laid down.
- And the lepers obeyed, being obedience a sign of their faith in Jesus’ words. And, in fact, soon after setting out they are cleansed.
- However, only one returned to give thanks to Jesus. And He was a Samaritan! This led Jesus to “lament” on the lack of gratitude of the other nine lepers who were cured.
Dear brethren in Christ, the miraculous healing of the ten lepers reminds us of the importance of being thankful to God.
- Do we give him thanks many times during the day? Do we go to Him only when we need something? Or are we like the other nine healed lepers, who after getting what they want, immediately forget about God?
- Let us then be more grateful to God and thank Him many times during the day, but in order to do so, let us also ask for the virtue of humility. We need to be more humble, for humility leads one to acknowledge that all we have and all that we are comes from God. Pride, on the other hand, rejects any acknowledgement of the favors and gifts one has received, thinking that he is entitled and has merited all of them.
“Get used to lifting your heart to God, in acts of thanksgiving, many times a day. Because he gives you this and that. Because you have been despised. Because you haven’t what you need or because you have.
“Because he made his Mother so beautiful, his Mother who is also your Mother. Because he created the sun and the moon and this animal and that plant. Because he made that man eloquent and you he left tongue-tied.
“Thank him for everything, because everything is good” (J. Escrivá, The Way, 268).
- Thank Him for everything, even those things or situations which men consider infortune (illness, problems etc), and like St. Paul, in the 2nd reading (2 Tm 2:8–13) may we learn to bear and offer all our sufferings in this life in union with Christ so as to “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.”
- Let us also live the virtue of gratitude not only to God but also to the people around us, for the good they do and the service they provide, even if we do not know them.
Fr. Rolly Arjonillo, priest of Opus Dei, CATHOLICS STRIVING FOR HOLINESS Facebook page, website and Youtube channel. Hope you like our page or subscribe to our website or Youtube channel so we can reach and help more people in becoming faithful and holy Catholics.
A Blessed Sunday and week ahead. God bless you and your loved ones!
AUDIO CREDIT AND SOURCE: Palestrina – Sanctus / Osanna I / Benedictus / Osanna II – Missa Sicut lilium inter spinas by The Tudor Consort is licensed under a Attribution 3.0 International License. In http://freemusicarchive.org/music/The_Tudor_Consort/Renaissance_influences_-_Pizzetti_Messa_di_Requiem__Palestrina_Missa_Sicut_lilium_inter_spinas/05_Sanctus___Osanna_I___Benedictus___Osanna_II_-_Missa_Sicut_lilium_inter_spinas