Sunday Gospel reflections: Love leads to action

28th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

"The Healing of Ten Lepers" by James Tissot, 1886–1894. Photo: Public Domain

Once, before we were married, my future wife fell seriously ill. We lived in an underdeveloped country then, during a vicious war. Medicines for civilians were hard to come by, and medical experts were few. I would have given anything to have been able to help cure her, and, when she recovered, my gratitude knew no bounds.

I think of this time in my own life when I hear the story of the 10 lepers who were healed by Jesus. I can understand how the depths of despair were fed by such a severe illness, leading this foreigner, a Samaritan, to call upon the mercy of an unknown itinerant teacher. When the chips are down, we become open to anything.

The work of Jesus was to make known the design of God for humanity. To do this, he preached to the crowds. But as Luke’s Gospel rightly tells us, Jesus also explained the love of God by his actions. Jesus lavished special attention upon the needs of the poor, especially those who were sick and had lost all hope. This love was even extended to Samaritans and “foreigners.”

We are asked to do the same if we desire to live lives of authentic holiness. Can the Christian communities of today truly preach (and authentically live) the Gospel if we pass by the lepers of today without responding to their needs?

— Joseph Gunn


2 Kings 5:14-17

Psalm 98:1, 2-3, 3-4

2 Timothy 2:8-13

Luke 17:11-19

“The Healing of Ten Lepers” by James Tissot, 1886–1894. Photo: Public Domain

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