October 9, 2016

28th Sun., Ordinary Time

October 9, 2016:  Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

  • Green shirt:  Water of river Jordan (1st reading) [catch image before Panoramio dies 11/4], Ordinary Time season
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  The Lord's right hand won victory (psalm)
  • 'Treble clef' pin:  Sing to the Lord a new song (psalm)
  • Crucifix:  If we've died with Jesus, we'll live with him (2nd reading)
  • 'Bear' tie bar:  "I 'bear' with everything... so others may obtain salvation in Christ" (2nd reading)
  • 'Doctor's office' tie:  Jesus cures lepers (gospel)
(Too bad I can't find my '10' pin for today's "10 lepers" gospel)

For Psalm 98
For 2nd reading
For gospel

For next Sunday:  Psalm 121:  Our help/ Celoni:  sheet music (just written)
Today's Gospel invites us to acknowledge God’s gifts with wonder and gratitude.  The lepers, sick, seek healing.  Jesus tells them to present themselves to the priests, who were charged with certifying healings; he's testing their faith.  They were restored to health after they set out in obedience to Jesus.  Then they showed themselves to the priests and continued on, forgetting the Giver who cured them through Jesus—except for a Samaritan, a foreigner living on the fringe; not content with being healed, he brought the healing to completion by expressing gratitude.  He recognized in Jesus the true Priest, who saved him, who can now set him on his way and accept him as a disciple.
It's important to thank and praise God.  Ask:  Can I say “Thank you”?  How often do I say it in my family, my community, the Church, to those who help us, to those close to us?  We can take everything for granted, even God; it's easy to ask for something, but to return and give thanks...  Look to Mary, our Mother.  After hearing the angel's message, she sang praise to God.  Ask her to help us recognize everything as God’s gift and to give thanks.  It takes humility to give thanks.  In the story of Naaman, to be cured of his leprosy, he accepts the slave's suggestion and entrusts himself to the Elisha, whom he considered an enemy.  Naaman was humbled himself.  Elisha only asks him to bathe in the Jordan.  This leaves Naaman perplexed:  can a God who demands such banal things truly be God?  But he still bathes and is cured.
Mary is humble, accepting God’s gifts.  To become man, God chose her, a simple young woman who didn't do extraordinary things.  Ask:  Am I prepared to accept God’s gifts, or do I shut myself in material security, intellectual security, the security of our plans?
Naaman and the Samaritan were foreigners.  How many foreigners, including persons of other religions, show us values we forget or set aside!  They can teach us how to walk on the Lord's path.  Mary and Joseph knew what it was to live far from home.  She was a foreigner in Egypt, but her faith overcame the difficulties.  Cling to Mary's simple faith; ask her that we may always come back to Jesus and thank him for all we've received through his mercy.
  • 2 Kgs 5:14-17  Naaman, after bathing in Jordan and being cleansed:  The Lord is God alone.
  • Ps 98:1-4  "The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power."  Sing a new song; the Lord is kind and faithful.
  • 2 Tm 2:8-13  I bear suffering so others may be saved.  "If we've died with him, we'll live with him; if we persevere, we'll reign with him."  He remains faithful.
  • Lk 17:11-19  Ten lepers ask Jesus for pity, are cleansed; one returns to thank him.  "Where are the rest?  Your faith has saved you."
    • Creighton:  “If we've died with him, we'll live with him; if we persevere we'll reign with him....”  To die with Christ, we must first live with him.  Ask, "Am I living with Christ?  Is he part of my daily life?  Do I put my faith into action?"  The end of the 2nd reading affirms that in spite of my unfaithful ways, God won't be unfaithful; he'll always answer us.  This makes waking up tomorrow wonderful....
    • One Bread, One Body:  "The 90% congregation":  The leper ignores Jesus' command to show himself to the priest, but Jesus approves of his grateful heart, telling him his faith, expressed by thanksgiving, has saved him.  Could Jesus be asking about us like he asked about the other nine?  'Eucharist' means 'thanksgiving.'  Praise, glorify, and thank God today. "Dedicate yourselves to thankfulness." Obey with gladness, praise, and thanksgiving....
    • Passionist:  "How to be firm in faith":  Today's readings speak of faith.  Timothy gives a summary of the faith we received in Baptism.  Persevere!  God is faithful even when we're not.  For Naaman, faith came as believing a child's word.  Naaman speaks to us when we can't celebrate our faith. Elisha tells him, “Go in peace.”  Naaman anticipated trouble.  Many run into circumstances that make it harder to live faith:  no good proof, negative things, personal failures, unsettledness, insecurity.  But God says, "Go in peace."  May those words see us through times when it's hard to welcome what faith brings.  Persevering, treasuring our experiences, and gratitude feed faith. We don't need to dissect or explain what happened, but in treasuring our faith experiences we become firmer and stronger.
      The river Jordan
    • DailyScripture.net:  "He fell at Jesus' feet giving thanks":  "A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity."  In adversity we find out who are really our family and friends.  Jews and Samaritans never dealt with one another even though Samaria was in central Judea.  They were hostile when their paths crossed, but this Samaritan leper dropped his barriers among these nine Jewish ones.  The lepers asked for mercy from Jesus, not healing.  'Mercy' means "sorrow at heart"; it's more than compassion, or sorrow at another's misfortune.  Compassion empathizes, but mercy removes suffering.  A merciful person shares another's misfortune and will do anything to dispel it.  Mercy "doesn't destroy justice but is a certain kind of fulfillment of justice.  Mercy without justice bears dissolution; justice without mercy is cruelty" (Thomas Aquinas).
    The lepers know they need healing, physical and spiritual, and approach Jesus with contrition and faith, believing he restore body and soul.  Their request for mercy is a plea for pardon and release from suffering.  Gratefulness is related to grace, the release of loveliness.  The Samaritan approached Jesus reverently and praised God.  If we don't appreciate mercy shown to us, we'll be ungrateful and unkind to others.  Ingratitude leads to lack of charity, intolerance, and other vices.  Do you express gratitude to God and others?

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