28th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
Give thanks to the Lord!
May your grace, O Lord, we pray,
at all times go before us and follow after
and make us always determined to carry out good works.
Longing for healing and expressing gratitude are threads that pull together all of the scripture we pray this Sunday.
In the First Reading, Naaman, commander of a foreign king’s army, cannot use his power to escape the ravages of leprosy. Yet with a spirit of humility and hope-filled faith, he goes in search of healing from the God of Israel. Though not an Israelite, his life is transformed and changed forever by God’s healing power.
The Psalm is a rapturous song of praise, expressing very much how we imagine Naaman might have felt after being healed.
St Paul, in the Second Reading, writes a letter of encouragement from his place of imprisonment, proclaiming that the good news of Jesus Christ risen from the dead cannot be chained up. Faith in Christ will bring us freedom from our hardships.
The physical healing of leprosy is also at the heart of the Gospel story, but we are encouraged to look deeper by reflecting on the questions that Jesus poses after ten people with leprosy are healed. It is only a Samaritan who returns to give thanks to Jesus. Perhaps even after being healed, he is no longer welcome in his fellow group of non-Samaritans? He remains a social pariah, but Jesus welcomes him and demonstrates that the spirit of God’s healing love is for all people, not just the chosen few.
This week, let us be especially grateful that we belong to a community united in love and prayer – and let us pray for each other that we may be a source of God’s healing to those who are rejected today.