Gospel Reflection for 28th Sunday Ordinary Time Year C – October 9th 2016
Now on the way to Jerusalem Jesus travelled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 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.’
Something about Jesus brought these sick people to him. They heard of him hoped for a cure. And something about them brought healing. They went back better.
HE CURED WITH COMPASSION
We notice he healed without a word. Jesus healed often by being who he was at that moment. He embraced the people whom nobody wanted. He never asked why these people suffering from leprosy got sick, or when. He just saw in front of him a sick man or woman. He cured with compassion. A challenge to all of us in helping people. Medical services today can be so impersonal. Someone asked ‘when will I have my procedure?’ ‘Oh’, he was told, ‘you’re number 5 on the list!’
His non-condemnatory way of healing was a big quality in Jesus. No lectures on life-style. Pope Francis thinks of the church first of all as a sort of ‘field hospital’. A place of being with people in need of care, and healing.
For these people Jesus’ compassion was touched by their faith or their misery.
SAME WITH OURSELVES
We can do a lot for each other just by being who we are. One of the greatest needs today is to be heard. Often we need to be heard – advice is given 2 a penny, or opinions when all I want is someone to say – what do you mean by that? Even when someone drives you mad, maybe then they need to be heard.
In our culture there is a huge need for the personal. Friendships cannot exist only on e-mails, face-book, or texts. We need to keep the personal alive, to keep compassion active and to be a community of listeners before we are speakers. To look others in the eye with love and care before asking anything of them. To bring mercy, sometimes without words, with a listening ear to the cares of all.
Fr Donal Neary SJ is editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger