Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
2 Kings 5:14-17
Psalms 98:1, 2-3, 3-4
2 Timothy 2:8-13
In my years of youth ministry some of the most wonderful moments happened when a teen would have an “aha” moment at a retreat or event where they would experience God in a way like ever before. A moment that changes hearts, recalibrates priorities, empowering them to love and serve God in a deeper way. I have seen lives changed as they open to the Holy Spirt allowing God to do great things in their lives.
In our Gospel reading we see more people who are having their moment…in this case being healed of Leprosy. Ten people are healed and only one shows gratitude and comes back.
We do not know what happened to the nine lepers. We only know that the Samaritan, by opening his heart to God was saved. The nine lepers were not bad people, they had enough faith to be healed. They just did not think it was important to make that next step. They missed that the physical healing was good, but it was not the most important thing Jesus offered them.
The question today for all of us is what is our leprosy? What are the things we have made important in our lives that are eating away at us and our relationship with God?
Perhaps it is a barrier to keep God out of parts of our lives. We put barriers up hoping he is not near us at work or when we are out …so he does not see how we act, hear what we say, or even know what we are looking at on the internet.
Maybe it’s something as simple as…when we are in a group…we do not stand up for what is morally right because we don’t want to be viewed as religious.
When we do this we limit what God is in our lives and therefore limit what we can be.
Like the nine lepers we all tend at some point to keep God at a distance. From a distance we call out to God to answer our prayers, afraid to come to close. We might get asked to do something…change something… be something. So Jesus speaks to us from a distance as he will not force himself on us. He continues to hope we will come to him passionately, with open hearts and minds, so he can give us more. To do great things in our lives.
When we go to Mass this week we will be close to Him who loves us more than any other. We can come to the Eucharistic table like the 9 lepers, receive the healing we so desperately need, and then go off and forget what is important, staying at a distance until we come again for healing. Maybe we can come like the teens, or the Samaritan, receive our healing, leaving willing to change. Willing to tear down the walls of limitations that we have surrounded ourselves with, walls protecting those things that we thought were important, but do not need to be. Allowing ourselves to be close to a God who wants to use us to do great things.
By: Deacon Jeffery Cieslewicz, Parishes of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, North Huntingdon & Immaculate Conception, Irwin