Oct. 13, 2019 - 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time
(Kg 5:14-17; 2 Tm 2:8-13; Lk 17:11-19)
Naaman went down and plunged into the Jordan seven times at the word of Elisha, the man of God. His flesh became again like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean of his leprosy. In Hebrew, “seven” means completeness and is virtually synonymous with the covenant, owing to the importance of the Sabbath or seventh day. Naaman also is transformed from his arrogant resistance to humble acceptance, and his new faith in the God of Israel. He goes so far as to request some of the earth in Israel to carry back to Damascus. The Psalm reminds us ALL the ends of the earth have seen the salvation by our God. Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, was a descendant of David. Paul doesn’t suffer for his own reward, although that’s promised, but that others may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus together with eternal glory. Anything necessary, including loss of life, is worth the salvation of even one soul. It comes down to the great commandment – love of God and neighbor. While Jews and Samaritans ordinarily did not associate with one another, their ethnic and religious identity were obliterated by the disease of leprosy as they traveled together. Leprosy left one unable to participate in Jewish ritual practices and was considered symbolic of the ravages of sin. The Samaritan offers no gift as Naaman had done, but his expression of faith is expansive. He glorifies God, falls at Jesus’ feet, and thanks him.
Although we must begin our prayer requests in faith, they should end in gratitude. What are some prayers that have been answered in your life? How did you show your gratitude?