28th Sunday in Ordinary time
One of the worst experiences in human life, is not feeling a sense of belonging, to someone, or to a group.
This sense of feeling ‘alone and outside’ a group comes through to us in the First reading, and Gospel.
In the Old Testament Reading, we see a twofold uncleanness in the person of Naaman! He is a Pagan, and he was a Leper! However, because he obeyed (holistically listened) to the God of Israel by trusting Elisha, he received a two-fold healing: his flesh was made clean, and his heart turned to the living God.
Linked to the Gospel, we see Ten Lepers, shouting to Jesus from a distance, ’Jesus Master! Take pity on us.’ These untouchables could see in Jesus the saving hand of God at work! Their cry came from a contrite heart…’Take pity on us’ Ps 51. Jesus, seeing the solid foundation of their faith, cured them in transit to the chief priests. Who came back to praise and thank Jesus? A foreigner, and unclean person, a Samaritan!
In being restored to their communities, Naaman in the first Reading, and the Lepers in the Gospel, exhibit authentic elements of ‘faith.’ Hence, faith is seeing the saving hand of God at work in our community. We are called to be and do the same.
Our mission from Christ is: ‘Go and tell my people that I love them, go and show my people that I love them, go and gather them together and bring them back to me.’
Kevin Walsh is a priest in the Diocese of Parramatta in Sydney. He has been formed in the Passionist tradition, and Ministers to the Aged, the Sick, the Dying and the Bereaved.