October 13, 2013

The Gospel Today 

Twenty-eight Sunday in Ordinary Time

Luke 17:11-19

As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem,
he traveled through Samaria and Galilee.
As he was entering a village, ten lepers met him.
They stood at a distance from him and raised their voices, saying,
“Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!”
And when he saw them, he said,
“Go show yourselves to the priests.”
As they were going they were cleansed.
And one of them, realizing he had been healed,
returned, glorifying God in a loud voice;
and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him.
He was a Samaritan.
Jesus said in reply,
“Ten were cleansed, were they not?
Where are the other nine?
Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?”
Then he said to him, “Stand up and go;
your faith has saved you.”

Reflection (Sem. Ivan Joseph Feniquito):

            Today, we celebrate the Indigenous People Sunday. Our brothers and sisters in that society experienced threats from powerful and rich people or group of companies who wanted to take their land, whether aggressively or cleverly. Most of the times, people violate their culture and traditions just to acquire ancestral land and to build development projects such as infrastructure, building, mining and other industrial facilities that destroy the environment. We need to help our indigenous brothers and sisters. We must defend their right to their land and resources. We need to be with them in protecting Mother Nature and indigenous culture. There is a cure for this disease. We need to love and respect our neighbors and to show our humanity to others especially to our cultural minorities, people who are marginalized and powerless.

            In today’s Gospel, Jesus cures the ten lepers because he loves and respects them even if other people treat them unjustly and with prejudice. The lepers are outcast in the society, but our Lord Jesus Christ shows compassion and love to them. Remarkably, only one of them came back to Jesus to express gratitude. It was the Samaritan who believes that Jesus not just wants to heal him, but to save him as well. Because of the act of the Samaritan, he was healed not only physically but also spiritually.

          There are two challenges for us in the Gospel; first, how can we offer help and healing to others, especially the needy, the abandoned and marginalized and second, how do we express our gratitude for the blessings that we receive from God. We can express our deepest appreciation and gratitude to God by sharing the blessings that we receive to others and by deepening our relationship with God and by being faithful to Him.

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