Sunday of the 28th week in Ordinary Time
2 Kings 5: 14 – 17; 2 Timothy 2: 8 – 13; Luke 17: 11 – 19
When we reflect for a moment on the very needs of the world today – Christians can say clearly and definitively that the world needs Jesus. All the New Testament writings are there to proclaim Christ. To tell us all we need to know about Him. So that we can come to know Christ, to live Christ and proclaim Christ ourselves.
Everything starts with the Resurrection. So, we hear 2 Timothy today. A key word. Paul is imprisoned for preaching the Gospel and he wants to prepare Timothy to succeed him in preaching and to make sure Timothy also prepares others behind him.
What’s this preparation? The good news – that Jesus was raised from the dead. So, we hear Paul’s words: Remember that Jesus Christ, a descendent of David, was raised from the dead. This is the gospel I preach.
We accept and live out this mystery of our faith. Death is conquered, Love wins out in the end. God’s love overpowers everything.
So, we can now understand the two powerful stories offered to us today. Naamen is healed of leprosy, a foreshadowing of the 10 healed by Jesus. But also brought to faith in the one true God which is the deeper healing. The whole of scripture is preparing us for Jesus. The Son of God is with us. To give us the new life that God always wished for us.
The time is ready, God prepared Israel and choose those who would set the stage to receive faith in Jesus. Today we highlight Elisha, David, Paul, Timothy and now, you and me.
So, we want to enter into the dynamic of preaching the Gospel to carry on the task.
We are called to live in the dynamic of obedience to the Word of God, Thankfulness and that spirit of Gratitude that gives praise to God at the deepest level of our heart and being.
These three qualities of heart that enables a fruitful life of faith, a life of the Gospel – a life in Christ which is living in the power and grace of God’s mercy – God’s faithfulness and love.
This obedience is a call to what we see, to what we perceive. If we live in the spirit we see more, understand more. Look at Jesus in the gospel, he sees the need of the lepers, who need mercy, God’ love, the lepers see they are healed but one perceives the healing and power of God in Jesus. So, he returns to give praise and thanks. His healing is more than physical, It is a deep spiritual inner healing, the one that really counts – he comes to Jesus – God wants that inner healing for all of us. So we can come to a deeper faith and therefore Gospel action, gospel lives.
We need to learn how to see, and be moved to compassion, to be instruments of God’s mercy through Christ. How many people touch our lives that need our compassion? Can we see and act in love, in patience, in solidarity with them? When we really see, we are moved to act, moved to be Christ in some way by our acts of mercy – that is: Christ’s faithfulness and love reaching out to them through our seeing and our faith? We then are taking our place as preachers of the Gospel.
So, the gospel is proclaimed again – the story of salvation touches lives, not only our own. And we are transformed by this action as well. We come to a gratitude for Christ in us. When we see love moved to action, when we see a healing however small, we are moved because our hearts are open to a life lived with mercy, with love. And the Gospel keeps going round.
St. Paul’s words take on new meaning now: If I die with him, I shall live with him. This dying to self in all those little ways is a truly enormous grace for us. It’s living Jesus in the here and now. And when we truly see, we are filled with praise and thanks.
How many of us are moved to tears when we see acts of love reaching out to others in need? What touches us? That deep human reality of oneness with each other that so often we find hard to act on until there is a seeing and the instinctive movement to help. That’s the spirit in us, we are people of faith, Jesus is our Lord and savior. He is the one sent to bring us back to God.
Our healing and our thankfulness come together in our Eucharistic Celebration. It is here we touch again the healing power of Jesus, his great love and compassion that saves us on every level of our lives. Here, the Gospel is proclaimed.
Let us live out this Gospel of life. It’s our turn now.