28th Sunday in Ordinary Time (C)
October 09, 2022
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.





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.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

First Reading 2 Kgs 5:14-17

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.

Naaman returned with his whole retinue to the man of God.
On his arrival he stood before Elisha and said,
   “Now I know that there is no God in all the earth,
   except in Israel.
Please accept a gift from your servant.”

Elisha replied, “As the LORD lives whom I serve, I will not take it;”
   and despite Naaman’s urging, he still refused.
Naaman said: “If you will not accept,
   please let me, your servant, have two mule-loads of earth,
   for I will no longer offer holocaust or sacrifice
   to any other god except to the LORD.”

 Responsorial Psalm Ps 98:1, 2-3, 3-4

â„Ÿ. The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.


Second Reading 2 Tm 2:8-13

Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David:
   such is my gospel, for which I am suffering,
   even to the point of chains, like a criminal.
But the word of God is not chained.
Therefore, I bear with everything for the sake of those who are chosen,
   so that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus,
   together with eternal glory.
This saying is trustworthy:
   If we have died with him
      we shall also live with him;
   if we persevere
      we shall also reign with him.
   But if we deny him
      he will deny us.
   If we are unfaithful
      he remains faithful,
      for he cannot deny himself.

Acclamation before the Gospel 1 Thess 5:18


Gospel Lk 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 Questions:

How might you resist healing?

How are you challenged to "bear with everything?

For what are you ungrateful?

Catena Nova

Real conversion is an inward reality. To be really converted one must be so in one’s heart! As Scripture says: “A humbled, contrite heart God will not spurn!” Now listen to what happened as [the lepers] obeyed the Lord’s words. “One of them, when he saw that he was cured, went back again, praising God at the top of his voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. Now this man was a Samaritan.” This man stands for all who renounce the devil and take Christ as their model. We have been cleansed in the waters of baptism. We have been healed by the sacrament of penance. We have promised to renounce the devil and take Christ as our model. We have promised to follow Christ. We have praised him and adored him and given thanks to him. We must never again abandon his service. Listen once again to the Scripture: “Jesus said to the man: Get up and go your way; your faith has saved you.” See how great the power of faith is! Without faith, as St. Paul says, “it is impossible to please God”. “Abraham believed God and because of this God regarded him as righteous”. Faith saves! Faith justifies! Faith heals both body and soul!  (St. Bruno of Segni)
In our own day we see many people at prayer but, unfortunately, we see none of them turning back to give thanks to God… “Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine?” As I think you will remember, it was in these words that our Savior complained about the lack of gratitude of the other nine lepers.   We read that they knew well how to make “supplications, prayers, petitions” since they lifted up their voices, crying out:  “Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!”   But they lacked the fourth thing required by the apostle Paul: “thanksgiving” (1Tm 2:1) for they did not turn back nor give thanks to God. We see still more in our own day people who implore God for what they lack but a mere handful who seem to be grateful for the blessings they have received. … Indeed, many are secretly afflicted with an ulcer worse than leprosy, all the more dangerous in that it is more interior.   That is why it was right that the Savior of the world should ask where the other nine lepers were, since sinners avoid healing.   So, too, after his sin, God questioned the first man: “Where are you?” (Gn 3:9) (St. Bernard of Clarivaux)
If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “Thank you,” that would suffice. (Meister Eckhart)

What most attracts God’s graces is gratitude, because if we thank Him for a gift, He is touched and hastens to give us ten more, and if we thank Him again with the same enthusiasm, what an incalculable multiplication of graces! I have experienced this: try it yourself and you will see! My gratitude for everything he gives me is limitless, and I prove it to Him in a thousand ways.  (St. Therese of Lisieux)

To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything He has given us – and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him. Gratitude therefore takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise of the goodness of God. For the grateful person knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference. (Thomas Merton)

One of the lepers was a Samaritan who would presumably be marginalized by his marginal companions. Sort of a double whammy….  This story prompts us to reflect on what we do when we find ourselves in marginal positions, having been cast out and declared unclean in some way. Do we band together with other outcasts in a constructive way? Or do we band together in resentment at the establishment? Does our little outcast group amount to a mini-establishment with people divided between clean and unclean? Do we run back to the establishment that exiled us if we get a chance to do so?… Of course, the Samaritan had the advantage of not having the same option of going to a priest to be declared clean as his fellow lepers did. Being cleansed wasn’t enough to take him out of the margins. Remaining in the margins gave him the opportunity to give Jesus another look and let Jesus be the one who decides if he is clean or not. Giving Jesus this sort of authority is an exhilarating thing to do. It is also dangerous. Jesus just might tell us that not only is each one of us clean, everybody else is also clean and we have to live without our lepers. (Abbot Andrew Marr)

Significantly, Naaman and the Samaritans were two foreigners. How many foreigners, including persons of other religions, give us an example of values that we sometimes forget or set aside! Those living beside us, who may be scorned and sidelined because they are foreigners, can instead teach us how to walk on the path that the Lord wishes.   (Pope Francis)


Show More of You
What the Bible calls leprosy encompassed more that Hansen’s Disease.  Various afflictions of the skin, some not at all contagious, were included under the stringent requirements of exclusion from the community imposed by the Law of Moses.  Two whole chapters of Leviticus (13-14) deal in minute detail with what’s to be done with people suffering from various skin ailments and how they could be rejoin the community should the problem go away.  That would include, of course, psoriasis, treatable today by, among other things, a drug called Otezla.  You’ve probably seen the television ads promising that Otezla is “a pill that can help you achieve clearer skin”  – so that you will be able to “show more of you.”  The lepers of Jesus’ time, whatever the precise condition, had no such remedies.
But they sure understood what it meant to show more of you.  They had to do that in  order to live once more among others not so afflicted.  The Law of Moses demanded that anyone whose skin cleared up get cleared by a priest before they could be readmitted to society – after offering a sacrifice to atone for the trouble you caused.  Indeed, priests were the dermatologists of the time.  They even judged if the condition were serious enough to warrant exclusion in the first place.   
Now that Samaritan would not have headed to the temple in Jerusalem for this clearance. Samaritans worshipped in another place, on Mt. Gerizim, which they thought was the one true sanctuary ordained by the God of Israel.  But he doesn’t seem to go to one of his own priests.  We’re told as they were going they were cleansed and realizing he had been healed returned to thank Jesus (cf. G).  So much for the priest.

And that, it seems to me, is the real rub of the story:  Jesus praises the Samaritan, not for his adherence to religious tradition, but for his gratitude and his faith.  Which, of course, highlights a problem with religion, doesn’t it?  Religion can degenerate into mere formality, mere adherence to externals, mere attention to the niceties of rubrics, precepts, and well, let’s face it, the minimum required to fulfill our obligation.  In other words, to show less of us.

I think that’s one reason Jesus preferred the company of the great unwashed – like outcast lepers, public sinners, despised tax collectors, unlettered fishermen, preferring them to the religious elites of his time.  They “got” him, while the others did not.  And they had no choice but to show more of them.  Their truth was plain for all to see.

Of course, people have been covering up their truth ever since Adam and Eve put on those animal skins to cover their nakedness in the Garden of Eden.  As if God didn’t know what was underneath!  Indeed, the cover-up was a give-away something was amiss in paradise.  Not that self-incrimination is required but we are talking about God before whom nothing is hidden.

So you can forget about those open sores that still need healing; those scabs and scars still noticeable from a time long ago; those rashes that can still break out wanting to be scratched, and those blemishes, age spots and moles that might embarrass you should they be all too visible.  The Divine Dermatologist knows about them all.  And it seems the heavenly pharmacy is well-stocked with Otezla of a different sort: the kind that helps us show more of us because we’ve been taken into the embrace of a merciful God who cares little for pedigree, national origin, or self-righteousness.  And whose grace is free of charge – no need to make an offering any more than Naaman did to Elisha.  A grateful heart will do instead. 

And in case you ever feel like an outcast or a foreigner; like you should keep your distance lest you infect others; or if you’re afraid to venture forth from the tombs others say you should live in, or to doff your rags, since you’re not fit for polite company, or worse, under God’s judgement -- well, there’s someone passing through your own Galilee and your own Samaria who "gets" you. 

Someone who knows a thing or two about being an outcast and an object of reproach; someone who, when he got to Jerusalem, was crucified outside the camp right where lepers dwelt; someone who showed more of him than anyone else possibly could, and he of God: Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David (II).  Who lives and reigns, forever and ever.  Amen.



For the Church: that we may be a people filled with gratitude for all the blessings and gifts which we receive each day.

For the grace to begin again: that we may grasp the opportunities to start anew when God opens new doors and opportunities in our lives.

For all who are ill, particularly those suffering from Hanson’s Disease and other diseases of the skin: that they may know the renewing and comforting touch of God through the compassionate care of people like Francis of Assisi, Damian of Molokai and Marianne Cope.

For all who are excluded and marginalized by society: that they may experience welcome and acceptance by the Christian community.

For families touched by domestic violence: that God will help family members to care for one another, grow in trust, and find the resources they need to move toward wholeness.

For those recovering from surgery: that God will restore life and wholeness to them and their families.

For peace and safety: that God will protect everyone from violence and open opportunities for healing and dialogue for all who are hurting.

O God,
our life, our health, our salvation,
look with mercy on your people.
Stir up in us a saving faith,
that believing, we may be healed,
and being healed, we may worthily give you thanks.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen. (ICEL; 1998)

Offertory Hymn

Communion Antiphon

Closing Hymn