28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sunday, October 13, 2019
Sunday for Cultures, Extreme Poverty Day

First reading: 2 Kgs. 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.”

Second reading: 2 Tim. 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: Lk. 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.”

In other words Fr. Felix S. Ferrer, SVD (Divine Word Seminary, Tagaytay City)

A story is told about a magical horse owned by a priest. You can only make it run when you say, “Thanks be to God!” And you can only make it stop by saying, “Hail Mary, full of grace!” One day, a Protestant borrowed it and he was instructed on the magic words that had to be used to make the horse run or stop. So the Protestant said, “Thanks be to God!” Sure enough, the horse ran and when it was about to bump into a tree, he said, “Hail Mary, full of grace!” The horse stopped abruptly. Then he let it run again by saying, “Thanks be to God!” He was enjoying the ride until he was nearing a cliff and forgot the magic words to stop it. He called out, “Our Father!” It did not stop. “Amazing grace!” No way! When he was already at the edge of the cliff, he suddenly remembered the magic words to stop the horse, “Hail Mary, full of grace!” And the horse stopped just in time. So he sighed in relief, “Thanks be to God!”

Gratitude is something that we cannot ignore at the expense of our decency and integrity. The first reading according to the second book of Kings and the Gospel of today present to us an attitude of gratitude, i.e., Naaman after being cured of leprosy and the Samaritan after being healed by Jesus.

Why is an attitude of gratitude to God crucial to the wholeness of mind, body, and spirit? Apparently, to be made well, we must add thanksgiving to our faith. The person who makes such acknowledgment experiences a salvation that goes beyond the merely physical cure. It is a reorientation of the inner life. How is our impulse to thank others related to our impulse to thank God? What does gratitude contribute to our being made well in body, mind, and soul? Why is it so important that Jesus would chastise those who didn’t value it?

Gratitude keeps us connected with the giver of the gift. It helps us recognize the source of a gift. Furthermore, it keeps us grounded in the value of the gift as we take it into new pursuits and places. All good gifts come from God. The attitude of gratitude keeps us focused on the source of life, love, and each new day. When we acknowledge the source of love, we are more likely to share it with others. Maybe that is why gratitude is important enough for Jesus to lament its lack “from the other nine.”

May we not forget to thank the Lord for all the blessings that we have received in our life!

Tags: Bible reflection, Witness to the Word