Mission Society of the Philippines


28th Sunday C

For this Sunday’s reflection, they are two things that I’d like to ponder upon.

Firstly, both Naaman in the 1st reading and one of the ten lepers in the gospel reading who were healed are not Jews, they were Gentiles. Therefore, God’s healing is not solely for the chosen people or the chosen few. Their healing brings about their salvation. God’s salvation is intended for all. Naaman, after his healing, returned to the prophet Elisha and he wanted to give his offerings. But the prophet Elisha refused. Instead, Naaman asked for two mule-loads of earth and said that he will no longer offer holocaust or sacrifice to any other god except to the Lord. And in the gospel, the Samaritan also returned to Jesus when he noticed that he has been healed. He glorified God in a loud voice and fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. Jesus then said to him, “Stand up and go, your faith has saved you.”

Secondly, as a further reflection on the two readings, we may ask this question: how do we show our gratitude to God for all His blessings to us? God’s blessings may include healing, our daily sustenance, solutions to problem, peace of mind, our safety, the things we were able to accomplish, so on and so forth. Sometimes, this feeling of entitlement or ownership is so strong to us. I feel deserving and wanting to have something for the good things I did. I really worked hard that’s why I deserve to rest. I did extraordinary things that’s why I need to be affirmed, praised and recognized. Even in relationships, there is this strong feeling of entitlement or ownership. That is why, since we feel entitled to and for something, we lose this sense of gratitude. Naaman and the Samaritan leper who were outsiders, they felt undeserving to ask for healing, but their faith and trust to God of Israel, and to Jesus Christ made their healing possible. Their faith didn’t recognize only the healing or the miracle itself, but also the Healer himself – God and Jesus. We sometimes dwell so much to the gift but not to the giver.

We may offer something as an expression of gratitude, like Naaman who is giving his offerings to God through the prophet Elisha. But, let us take note that Elisha refused to accept it. Perhaps, what God like most from us as an expression of gratitude is our total and sincere faith and love for Him. The highest form of expressing our gratitude to God is to attend the Holy Eucharist. Eucharist comes from the Greek noun eucharistia which means thanksgiving. It is an act of thanksgiving to God. It is there in the Holy Eucharist where Jesus Christ becomes the offering and the offerer. It is there before His Holy Presence where we give also ourselves, our mind, soul, body and spirit and our act of thanksgiving through our offerings.

Fr. Jose A. Norella, III

Kyoto, Japan

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