Gospel Reflection for the 28th Sunday Ordinary Time Year C – October 13th 2013
Full scripture for this Sunday is available on the Catholic Ireland website. Daily Scripture is also available. Our parish Prayers of the Faithful for this Sunday are made available on the Dublin Diocesan website.
Now on the way to Jerusalem Jesus travelled along the border between Samaria and GaliIee. As he entered one of the villages, ten lepers came to meet him. They stood some way off and called to him, ‘Jesus! Master! Take pity on us.’ When he saw them he said, ‘Go and show yourselves to the priests’.
Now as they were going away they were cleansed. Finding himself cured, one of them turned back praising God at the top of his voice and threw himself at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. The man was a Samaritan. This made Jesus say, ‘Were not all ten made clean? The other nine, where are they? It seems that no one has come back to give praise to God, except this foreigner.’
And he said to the man, ‘Stand up and go on your way. Your faith has saved you.’
Nine were cured, and a tenth was healed. The nine saw again and the last one was grateful and lifted his heart in praise and thanks.
He was a man of another country, not liked by the followers of Jesus, yet his heart was like the heart of Jesus, thankful and light.
The word ‘thanks’ can change an atmosphere. It is one of the most important words between people who are in ordinary and consistent relationships. With those we love, with those with whom we work, live with, and with whom life is shared, it is a word that deepens the bond among us. It brings a lightness among us.
A Grateful Heart
The Christian heart is a grateful heart. We sometimes find people whose lives are very difficult and disabled on the outside but have a heart of thanks on the inside. They are the people who thank for what they have, rather than whine over what they have not.
The thanks of the Samaritan brought him into a sort of unity with Jesus and with the others who looked on him as a foreigner. Thanks can bring enemies together. When we thank for the same things, we shatter barriers.
The nine were cured, and probably did well for Jesus in their reports. But the tenth brought the new life of Jesus to others from a grateful heart.
Give thanks this day for the ordinary, for the people who are always there, for the goodness of God. Give thanks, and in giving thanks we will be more like Jesus, the one whose life and words thank God his Father.
Donal Neary SJ