The most difficult times can produce the greatest spiritual blessings. God truly knows just what we need at every moment!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

28 Sunday in Ordinary Time - year C

Penitential Rite:

Lord Jesus, you show us the path of love and thankfulness: Lord, have mercy,
Christ Jesus, you invite us to share our goods with less fortunate: Christ, have mercy,
Lord Jesus, you teach us the ways of kindness and humility, Lord, have mercy.

May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

FIRST READING - 2 Kings 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."

SECOND READING - 2 Timothy 2:8-13

Beloved: 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.

GOSPEL Cycle C - Luke 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."


How thankful we are? Gratitude and thankfulness …

Once upon a time there was a man who was struck down in his early thirties who was diagnosed with brain cancer. He had a wife and young children and a promising career. Suddenly all of that was swept away from him. He could barely talk or walk. He was in constant agony. His friends and his family, except for his wife and mother, avoided him. The doctors shook their head. It was too bad. He was a nice man and deserved longer life. But there was nothing they could. At last he went to a very famous doctor who offered to operate on him, even though everyone else said the tumor was inoperable. The doctor warned the patient and his wife that he could very well die during the operation, though he (the doctor) was pretty sure that he would survive and return to health. They decided that they should take the risk. After nine hours of surgery, the doctor came into the waiting room, grinned at the man’s wife and said, “Got it!” The man recovered and went on to a happy and successful life. Twenty years later the surgeon died. We should go to the wake, the patient’s wife said. I’d like to, her husband replied. But it’s on the weekend and I have an important golf tournament.


‘Isn’t it great?’
A number of years ago a Chicago high school student went to Nicaragua during his summer vacation to do volunteer work.
He accompanied a medical team to Wiwili, a tiny mountain village. Life in the village was primitive.

Most of the children had no clothes and were inadequately fed.
The houses, built right on the ground, were made from old lumber and banana leaves.
The medical team vaccinated the villagers against polio, measles, and DPT. Sometimes they had to turn children away because they had already gotten the disease.
The high school boy found this especially heartbreaking. He wrote:

“By the end of the first week of work, I started feeling sorry—even guilty— for the conditions these people lived in. I became homesick and depressed.
“One night I was sitting outside in the darkness. I was thinking about home, my girlfriend, and why I had volunteered. I asked myself why people had to live like this. Whose fault was it? Why did God permit it?
“Then I heard someone in the darkness.
It was José Santos, the schoolteacher and the father of the family that I lived with. He sat down next to me, tilted his chair back against the wall, and stared up at the sky. “After a minute, he broken the silence, saying,
‘Isn’t it great!’
“I questioned what he said, and he repeated, ‘Isn’t it great—all that God has given us!’ His eyes were still staring up at the sky. “I tilted my head and looked up. I hadn’t noticed that the sky was lit up with millions of stars. “It was spectacular. The two of us just sat there looking up at the stars. It was an experience I will never forget.

At that moment I felt great. Everything fell into place.
“Never before had I felt so thankful for all that God had given me. Never before had I felt so loved.

This poor man showed me, what is the most important in our lives and how to be thankful even if apparently I have nothing.

The word Eucharist means "to give thanks". I suppose to thank God for all He has done and is doing for me. I thank God for the prayers that have been answered the way I wish they would be answered, and for the prayers that have been answered in ways different than I have asked.

… but the Eucharist is on Sunday and I have so many other urgent things to be done …

Nowadays we are not able to say “thank you” to God, because we are deeply convinced that all we have is the effect of our efforts and labors. It seems to us that we own nothing and to nobody.

Prayer of the Faithful:

Introduction Lord Jesus Christ, you hear all our cries for mercy and reveal God’s saving power. With humble heart and faith we pray for the Church, for our families and for all those who are in burden ….

Lord God, you continue to perform mighty deeds on our behalf: may faith and gratitude be ever evident in our world as we strive to reach out to all in need for you are worthy of all thanks and praise trough Christ our Lord who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen

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