Liturgy of the Sunday

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Twenty-eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time


First Reading

2 Kings 5,14-17

So he went down and immersed himself seven times in the Jordan, as Elisha had told him to do. And his flesh became clean once more like the flesh of a little child. Returning to Elisha with his whole escort, he went in and, presenting himself, said, 'Now I know that there is no God anywhere on earth except in Israel. Now, please, accept a present from your servant.' But Elisha replied, 'As Yahweh lives, whom I serve, I will accept nothing.' Naaman pressed him to accept, but he refused. Then Naaman said, 'Since your answer is "No," allow your servant to be given as much earth as two mules may carry, since your servant will no longer make burnt offerings or sacrifice to any god except Yahweh.

Psalmody

Psalm 97

Antiphon

Shout and sing praises to the Lord.

Sing a new song to the Lord
for he has worked wonders.

His right hand and his holy arm
have brought salvation.

The lord has made known his salvation;
has shown his justice to the nations.

He has remembered his truth and love
for the house of Israel.

All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation of our god.

Shout to the Lord all the earth,
ring out your joy.

Sing Psalms to the Lord with the harp
with the sound of music.

With trumpets and the sound of the horn
acclaim the Kind, the Lord.

Let the sea and all within it, thunder;
the world, and all its peoples.

Let the river clap their hands
and the hills ring out their joy

at the presence of the Lord : for he comes,
he comes to rule the earth.

He will rule with the world with justice
and the peoples with fairness.

Second Reading

2 Timothy 2,8-13

Remember the gospel that I carry, 'Jesus Christ risen from the dead, sprung from the race of David'; it is on account of this that I have to put up with suffering, even to being chained like a criminal. But God's message cannot be chained up. So I persevere for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they, too, may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. Here is a saying that you can rely on: If we have died with him, then we shall live with him. If we persevere, then we shall reign with him. If we disown him, then he will disown us. If we are faithless, he is faithful still, for he cannot disown his own self.

Reading of the Gospel

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Luke 17,11-19

Now it happened that on the way to Jerusalem he was travelling in the borderlands of Samaria and Galilee. As he entered one of the villages, ten men suffering from a virulent skin-disease came to meet him. They stood some way off and called to him, 'Jesus! Master! Take pity on us.' When he saw them he said, 'Go and show yourselves to the priests.' Now as they were going away they were cleansed. Finding himself cured, one of them turned back praising God at the top of his voice and threw himself prostrate at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. The man was a Samaritan. This led Jesus to say, 'Were not all ten made clean? The other nine, where are they? It seems that no one has come back to give praise to God, except this foreigner.' And he said to the man, 'Stand up and go on your way. Your faith has saved you.'

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Homily

"The Word of God is not chained," Paul says in the letter to Timothy while bearing the chains of prison. (2 Tm 2:9). He adds, "Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, so that they may also obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus." These suffered words of the apostle tell us that the freedom and the strength of holy Scripture that is announced every Sunday.
Jesus finds himself in the territory of Jezreel, between Galilee and Samaria. While he enters a village, ten lepers come to meet him. All of this is not without significance: the healing, the miracle, is not a prodigious fact that happens in a random way that is nearly the product of magic. We can compare the first part of the Gospel story with the first steps of every conversion, of every disciple's life. Conversion, in fact, comes from a cry, from a prayer, like that of the ten lepers. Every Sunday the same liturgy, as it begins, makes us repeat, "Lord, have mercy!" Healing is rooted in the recognition of one's own illness, one's own need for help, protection, and support.
Upon the words of Jesus, the lepers began the walk towards the priests and, right as they were on their way, they were all healed. This is to say that healing begins when one begins to obey the Gospel and not one's self or worldly habits. In this way, our spiritual journey will bring us healing, of the heart and of the body, so long as it is punctuated and defined by hearing the Gospel. An analogous thing happens to the two disciples on the route to Emmaus, they were healed of their illness (profound sadness of the heart) while they were walking about and listening to Jesus speak.
After having noted that all ten lepers have been healed, the Gospel adds that only one comes back, "praising God with a loud voice," and as soon as he reaches Jesus, "he prostrated himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him" (v. 16). The evangelist intends to use this gesture to underline the next step of conversion, recognition and the handing over of one's own life to Jesus. Full healing also reaches the heart. We might say that the tenth leper is not only "healed," but "saved." The other nine, all Jews, maybe felt that healing was due to them as children of Abraham. The tenth, a Samaritan, a stranger, felt the healing as a grace, as an unearned gift that demanded a return of love. He is an example for all of us, so that we might welcome God's free compassion for us and on our lives and we thank Him for bending down over us.