October 14, 2007 Year C
28th Sunday in Ordinary Time/20th Sunday after Pentecost
Reflections on the Readings
By Dennis Hankins
2 Kings 5:14-17; Psalm 98:1-4
2 Timothy 2:8-13; Luke 17:11-19
Theme: Jesus, Master, Have Mercy On Us!
The cry of humanity is a cry for mercy.
This little colony of lepers is a micro-cosom of humanity. Their condition had no end in sight. Ostracized from their community and families, they had only each other for company. How do they represent humanity? Humanity in all its brokenness and despair is heard in their cry for mercy.
Perhaps they had heard that Jesus touched lepers and made them clean. They had probably talked among themselves and wondered aloud if they might someday meet Jesus.
It is instructive that ten were cleansed but only one returned to give thanks. And that one was considered an outcast in two ways. First by being a leper and secondly by being a Samaritan. But it was this Samaritan who returned and fell down at Jesus' feet, giving him thanks. Jesus highlighted the moment for those who thought themselves better than others.
To whom much is given, much is required. And this Samaritan realized how much he had received. Do we? Do we truly know what treasure is ours in the breaking of the bread? We say, "For us men and for our salvation, he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit, He was born of the Virgin Mary and became man." We bow low at this time because we are reminded of the great mystery of our salvation. Think about this often: For our sake he became poor that we through his poverty might be made rich. O what mercy is ours.
Worship in the Spirit is more than a fulfillment of a Sunday obligation. Coming to Mass is a fulfillment of our need to return and give thanks. It is the Great Thanksgiving. So each time we return to the table of the Lord it is about getting into praise. It's about getting into thanksgiving. It's about acknowledging that we have been bought with a price. We depend upon the feast of the body and blood of Jesus for our spiritual well being. Through it we are being changed from glory to glory.
The ministry of mercy is the ministry of Jesus. It is for us and for the life of the world that each Sunday we witness Jesus high and lifted up. Some dismiss this event as mere symbolism. But no mere symbol could make such a profound and redemptive impact. It is in the hands of the priest we behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
In the reception of the same we pray once again, "Jesus, Master, have mercy us and upon the whole world."
Let us pray: Dear Jesus, the majesty of your mercy is abundant in your Church. As you are lifted up in the Eucharist you draw the whole world to yourself. Draw me nearer, nearer precious Lord to your precious bleeding side. Amen.