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Focusing the Gospel

Key words and phrases: Have pity on us, they were cleansed, one returned, glorifying God, thanked him, your faith has saved you
To the point: In the Gospel, ten lepers ask Jesus to take pity on them and he heals them. But only the Samaritan leper returns to Jesus, glorifies God, and gives thanks. This leper reveals himself as someone who knew he needed healing, but also as someone compelled to return to his Healer, throw himself at his feet, and further the fledgling relationship begun with the healing. For this action he received even more than physical healing. He hears Jesus declare to him, “your faith has saved you.” This is faith: knowing who we are before God, gratefully coming to God, and ever deepening our relationship with God. And for this we always give thanks.
Connecting the Gospel
to the First Reading: The First Reading and Gospel both present foreigners (Naaman is a Syrian, the grateful leper is a Samaritan) who are healed of leprosy and who return to their healers to give thanks. Further, their response to being healed is in “glorifying God”: the Samaritan leper when he fell at Jesus’ feet, Naaman when he takes home with him “two mule-loads of earth” so that he can worship the God of Israel.
to experience: The sense of entitlement often leaves a person neglecting even such common social gestures as saying thanks. The ungrateful nine lepers were the original “entitlement crowd”! We are moved beyond taking for granted that what is given to us is owed to us when we grow in the kind of mutual sharing that deepens relationships. Facebook

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Living Liturgy: Spirituality, Celebration, and Catechesis
for Sundays and Solemnities
Year C - 2019.
Brian Schmisek, Diana Macalintal, and Katy Beedle Rice
Living Liturgy 2011

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Art by Martin Erspamer, OSB
from Religious Clip Art for the Liturgical Year (A, B, and C).
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