The Jesuit Father Rigobert Kyungu introduces us to meditation with the readings for the 28th Sunday of Ordinary Time.
Brothers and sisters, today we celebrate the 28th ordinary Sunday of liturgical year C. The first reading is taken from the second book of Kings (2 Kings 5, 14-17). The second reading comes from the second letter of Saint Paul the Apostle to Timothy (2 Tim 2, 8-13). We will read the Gospel according to Saint Luke in chapter 17, 11-19. These readings invite us to perceive the will of God through human mediations, to go beyond our particularities and to live in thanksgiving to God.
In the first reading, the Syrian General Naaman obeys the word of the prophet Elisha and goes to immerse himself in the Jordan in order to be purified from his leprosy. In the Gospel, Jesus asks the ten lepers to go and show themselves to the priests to attest to their healing. All these patients pass through human mediations to obtain healing from God. This is how God deals with us. He does not come down to earth to meet us directly. But he entrusts us to people of flesh and blood, marked by human frailty like us, to transmit his graces to us. Let’s remember the parable of the rich man and the poor Lazarus, in which Abraham asks the rich man to send his brothers to listen to Moses and the prophets to convert, instead of waiting for someone to come back from the dead to challenge them (Lk 16, 19-31). Today, we too have Moses and the prophets, in the head of our pastors or our hierarchical leaders in the Church, whom we must listen to and to whom we owe obedience. Do not consider their humanity as an obstacle to show us the way to God. On the contrary, let us pray for them and have faith in God who always acts through his servants.
Today’s readings also invite us to come out of our particularities. Indeed, while there was enmity between the Jews and the Samaritans, Jesus goes beyond this fact to break down the cultural and ethnic barriers. He admires the faith of the Samaritan leper who returned to give glory to God. In the first reading, Elisha also welcomes Naaman who is nevertheless a Syrian. It is therefore an invitation for us to come out of our cultural, political or ethnic groups to meet and love anyone created in the image of God. Because no one chooses to be born in a particular place, or within a specific ethnic group.
Finally, these readings invite us to always give thanks to God for the blessings he never ceases to shower on us, as did the Samaritan leper who, in Jesus, encountered God himself, as well as Naaman who returned to him with the land of Israel to build an altar in honor of the God of Israel. When we give thanks to God, we become better because we are more like him. As a Eucharistic prayer says: “our songs add nothing to what you are, but they bring us closer to you”. So let us not be ungrateful to the Lord; let us give him thanks in all circumstances, as Saint Paul recommends to us in 1 Thessalonians 5:18.
And it is Saint Paul who, in today’s second reading, asks Timothy to always remember Jesus Christ for whom he endures suffering because, he says, “if we bear trial with him, we we will also reign with him”. Let us therefore recognize in the person of Jesus, God himself who looks at us with compassion and who, despite our sins, is always beneficent towards us as towards the characters in today’s readings. And, with the ten lepers of the gospel, let us implore the grace to be purified from our sins and say: “Jesus, master, have mercy on us.” Amen.
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Meditation for the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C: God also speaks through humans – Vatican News
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