Friday, October 8, 2010

October 10: 28th Sunday Ordinary Time Year C

Being Cured and being Totally Healed
October 10: 28th Sunday Ordinary Time Year C
Readings: 2 Kings 5:14-17; 2 Tim 2:8-13; Lk 17: 11-19

This Sunday the readings draw our attention to the mystery of being cured and being healed. While being cured affects only the physical, being both cured and healed implies being touched so deeply at the spiritual levels of emotions that one is led to be grateful to God for such a favor. Thanksgiving to the Lord for everything God does expresses itself through a joy-filled faith that overflows from deep in our hearts into happiness and the desired to show gratitude as we find in the first reading and the Gospel of this Sunday. In the first reading, Naaman, a military general of the Syrian army goes to the prophet Elisha to be healed. He is not only a Gentile but also a pagan. Besides, he has leprosy. However, his efforts are rewarded with being cured and healed. In the reading, we notice how Naaman returns to the prophet Elisha totally converted to thank God for having been totall healed of his leprosy. But since the prophet does not accept his gift of gratitude, Naaman carries soil from Israel and builds a sanctuary on it in Syria where he would continually worship God and offer gratitude for what God had done for him.

In the Gospel, Luke presents a similar story of the ten lepers who were cured by Jesus on their way to see their priests. But only one of them returns and thank God for being healed. This leper was both cured and healed. Luke tells us that he was a Samaritan – a Gentile! The point of the passage is to teach us not only about the obligation of thanking God for what he does for us so generously, but once again to draw our attention the difference between being cured and being healed. We can be physically cured, but not healed spiritually."Were not all ten made clean? The other nine, where are they?" Just think for a moment on the many blessings and favors we have recived from the Lord even at times when you least expected. Think of God’s protection in so many situations in your life. Think of the faith you have received in Jesus Christ and the many opportunities God continues to offer us to deepen that faith in this parish. Finally think of the gift of the Holy Spirit continually given by the Father in Christ, to accompany and to strengthen us. God’s blessings are simply uncountable. I have often heard people speak of how lucky they were that they did not get killed or they survived from a bad sickness. Luck has nothing to do with all that. It is God who cares for us and protects us always. In the Gospel, all the 10 lepers are cured, but only one is healed. The leper who returns to thank Jesus is both cured and healed. He shows both a physical cure and an emotional healing that prompts him to go back to express gratitude. That is also a sign of conversion; a sign that Jesus touched him deeply to the extend of wanting to tell Jesus “thank you”. Sometimes in life we see loved ones experience sickness and although we pray for a physical cure, the mystery of suffering dumbfounds us when they do not get better. Yet, I have known some people who were never physically cured, but they were certainly healed before they went home to God. They had a certain peaceful expression on their faces that could only be explained by a sense of total healing. Let me sum up with a few points. 1) Like Naaman, the Syrian and like the one lepper in the gospel, may we be blessed with a spiritual healing that overflows into thanking God for His blessings and favours in our life. 2) Every Eucharist is a prayer of thanksgiving at which we celebrate with joy the memory of God’s saving action in Christ. 3) Remembering to say thank you to God is always a sign of having been deeply touched by what God does for us and for our loved ones.

©2010 John S. Mbinda
Homily and Music

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