Homily Twenty-eight Sunday Year C Obedience leading to healing

By 10:24 AM

Homily: Twenty-eight Sunday Year C

Reading 1: What is so special about this reading? Naaman was not a member of the chosen race. He was a pagan, who worshiped other gods. He has leprosy. His king in Assyria sent him to Israel, because he had heard about a prophet/healer, Elisha.

When Naaman comes to the prophet’s house, instead of himself going to minister to the leper, Elisha sends a servant. Expecting the prophet/healer to touch him or say some words over him, Naaman is told to go wash in the Jordan seven times. At first, Naaman refuses, maybe out of pride of his rank. But his own servants prevailed upon him. So he went to the Jordan, probably initially skeptical, but in his obedience, he was healed.

What does he does he do? He returns to the prophet to give thanks and publicly praising the God of Israel. He had a conversion experience—turning from the worship of his gods to the worship of the true God. What can we learn? When God moved in a mighty way in our lives, how vocal and public were we in praise, giving thanks? Our prayer of thanksgiving adds nothing to God, but makes us aware of God’s blessings and of our need to keep God always before us. Did our life change? Was this a conversion moment in our lives in which we turned away from sin and turned to the Lord in a deeper commitment?

Gospel: What is the focus? It is not the healing of the lepers, but that of the ten, only the most unlikely, a Samaritan, came back to give public thanks to Jesus for what God did in his life.

The first thing that Jesus did, when the ten asked to be healed, was to test their obedience, just as Elisha tested the obedience of Naaman. “Go and show yourself to the priests.” In other words, believe that you are healed and go with expectant faith to do what the Law requires, namely confirmation by the priests. On the way they were healed.

How often have we seen this in the Gospels? Mary tells the servants when the wine ran out. “Do whatever he tells you.” Jesus tells the centurion asking for the healing of his servant: “Go, your servant is healed.” In each case, they expressed their faith in obedience, even if it doesn’t make sense or is not what one is asking for.

The second thing is that healing was not the end but the door to something else, something far greater that God desires to do in our lives. The door to this next grace is public thanksgiving and praise of what God did for us. What was that more? Salvation. That is the ultimate desire of God in all that he does for us. He desires us to be saved and be with him forever in glory. Sometimes we fall short of this ultimate goal by being satisfied with God’s initial grace and not opened or seeking what God really wants to give us.

Reading 2: For Paul Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection was the central mystery for him. He had come to know and commit himself to Jesus as Lord and Savior. Nothing else was more important to him. He was willing to suffer for Jesus and this proclamation of the truth concerning Jesus. But his conviction was not just for himself. His relationship with Jesus was to be proclaimed to others, so they may obtain salvation in and through Jesus.

How significant is the death and resurrection of Jesus in our life? We profess it, yes. But is it the central mystery governing our life? Is it what keeps us from sin? Are we willing to suffer for it? Are we sharing that mystery with others, even if it means suffering? Is our salvation and the salvation of others important in our life? Do we die with Christ? Are we living in Christ and Christ in us? Or are we in fact denying him and are being unfaithful to him by not embracing the full life he gives us? Even if we are unfaithful, he is faithful?

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