Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
October 13, 2019
Whenever we hear the Gospel for today, we immediately think about giving thanks to God and so many Thanksgiving services have this Gospel include in the order of worship. Both Naaman, the leper from Syria and the Samaritan[AS1] leper gave thanks to God for their healing. Naaman wanted two loads of dirt so that he can offer his sacrifices to God instead of his own God. The Samaritan comes back to Jesus and glorifies God for his good fortune. These two unlikely human beings who were outsiders to the Jewish faith are healed.
Like all of Sacred Scripture, there are different dimensions to each and every line of the Word of God.
Jesus is on the border between Galilee and Samaria. He met the lepers. We know that Jews and Samaritans do not have anything to do with one another. We also know as they say: Misery loves company and they had forgotten their differences and remembered they were only men in need. Whether people know it or not all people need God. It is a longing in the human heart. All boundaries are broken down when Jesus comes into a situation.
No matter who came to Jesus, he would make them clean when they were ritually unclean, he raised the dead, he restored sight to the blind, he made the crippled walk, the deaf hear. Scripture says that He did all things well.
We do not know why the nine did not come back to Jesus to give thanks. Maybe some did not believe they had been healed, some were so overjoyed to be able to go back to their former lives that they forgot; some may have thought that they did not really have leprosy. There were many kinds of skin diseases which came under the umbrella of leprosy and some thought they might see Jesus later. They were healed of a physical disease but Jesus wants to offer more. Through the attitude of gratitude, the Samaritan met Jesus who could cure leprosy but Jesus provided him with so much more and that is salvation and being made whole. Salvation is for anyone who calls out to the Lord for mercy and responds to God’s call with praise and thanksgiving. This was not doubt the greatest day in the lives of the ten but the one who came back had the greatest day of all. He established a relationship with Jesus not just as a miracle man but as his Lord and Saviour. He would die or some other disease or old age but he would be free from sin and live forever in Christ.
Jesus, the Eternal Word of God, still heals today. If we turn to Jesus in trust he can cleanse us of the most basic of all ailments and that is sin. This life is short but eternal life is long.
Let us give thanks to God who created us, heals us, and redeems us and who continues to love us. Today, think of one of one saving deed God has done for you and give thanks in this Holy Eucharist.