Archive for October 12, 2019

Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: October 12, 2019 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Returning Thanks: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

2 Kings 5:14–17
Psalm 98:1–4
2 Timothy 2:8–13
Luke 17:11–19

A foreign leper is cleansed and in thanksgiving returns to offer homage to the God of Israel. We hear this same story in both the First Reading and Gospel today.

There were many lepers in Israel in Elisha’s time, but only Naaman the Syrian trusted in God’s Word and was cleansed (see Luke 5:12–14). Today’s Gospel likewise implies that most of the ten lepers healed by Jesus were Israelites—but only a foreigner, the Samaritan, returned.

In a dramatic way, we’re being shown today how faith has been made the way to salvation, the road by which all nations will join themselves to the Lord, becoming His servants, gathered with the Israelites into one chosen people of God, the Church (see Isaiah 56:3–8).
Today’s Psalm also looks forward to the day when all peoples will see what Naaman sees—that there is no God in all the earth except the God of Israel.

We see this day arriving in today’s Gospel. The Samaritan leper is the only person in the New Testament who personally thanks Jesus. The Greek word used to describe his “giving thanks” is the word we translate as “Eucharist.”
And these lepers today reveal to us the inner dimensions of the Eucharist and sacramental life.

We, too have been healed by our faith in Jesus. As Naaman’s flesh is made again like that of a little child, our souls have been cleansed of sin in the waters of Baptism. We experience this cleansing again and again in the Sacrament of Penance—as we repent our sins, beg and receive mercy from our Master, Jesus.

We return to glorify God in each Mass, to offer ourselves in sacrifice—falling on our knees before our Lord, giving thanks for our salvation.
In this Eucharist, we remember “Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David,” Israel’s covenant king. And we pray, as Paul does in today’s Epistle, to persevere in this faith—that we too may live and reign with Him in eternal glory.


I had in the past seen today’s Gospel text as a reminder of sorts not to entertain lofty ideas on how blessed we are to bring forth blessings upon on others through the grace of God, but to embrace more deeply the source of all life, the Word of God through faithful obedience. In a milder sense it is a lesson in humility.

But today I see it as Jesus elevating Mary His mother’s Blessedness as a model for all of us to follow. For all her life she heard the word of God and kept it ever so close to her immaculate heart. (Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. Lk 2:19) Yes Mary our Blessed mother is blessed indeed among all women for the Word made flesh was born into world through her. And yet more deeply she is Blessed for her total obedience and submission to her Creator who was there from the beginning of time, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. She is truly a wonderful model for us, her humility, faithfulness, gentleness, most of all her great devotion to the Word and love for the Lord our God.

You O Lord are our shelter, our stronghold, our salvation! May we always be true to Your Word as You reign in our hearts. Amen

First reading

Joel 4:12-21 ·
The day of the Lord is near; sun and moon grow dark

The Lord says this:

‘Let the nations rouse themselves, let them march to the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for I am going to sit in judgement there on all the nations round.
Put the sickle in: the harvest is ripe; come and tread: the winepress is full, the vats are overflowing, so great is their wickedness!’

Host on host in the Valley of Decision!
For the day of the Lord is near in the Valley of Decision!

Sun and moon grow dark, the stars lose their brilliance. The Lord roars from Zion, makes his voice heard from Jerusalem; heaven and earth tremble.

But the Lord will be a shelter for his people,
a stronghold for the sons of Israel.

‘You will learn then that I am the Lord your God, dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain.
Jerusalem will be a holy place, no alien will ever pass through it again.’

When that day comes, the mountains will run with new wine and the hills flow with milk, and all the river beds of Judah
will run with water.
A fountain will spring from the house of the Lord to water the wadi of Acacias. Egypt will become a desolation, Edom a desert waste
on account of the violence done to the sons of Judah whose innocent blood they shed in their country.
But Judah will be inhabited for ever,
Jerusalem from age to age. ‘I will avenge their blood and let none go unpunished’,
and the Lord shall make his home in Zion.

Gospel

Luke 11:27-28
‘Happy the womb that bore you and the breasts you sucked!’

As Jesus was speaking, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said, ‘Happy the womb that bore you and the breasts you sucked!’ But he replied, ‘Still happier those who hear the word of God and keep it!’