"GRATITUDE and the GRACE of HEALING"
Homily by Fr. Romy Seleccion, M.S.
October 14, 2007 -
28th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (C)
There are two images in the gospel
that challenge the way we live our faith today:
GRATITUDE and the GRACE of HEALING.
GRATITUDE is the memory of the heart!
More often than not, this excellent value
seems to fade away from our Christian identity.
Look at what happened to the nine lepers;
they were cured by Jesus, but they did not recognize
the healing, nor the God who healed them.
On the other hand, a Samaritan –
seen as a pagan without values, returned and fell
at the feet of Jesus glorifying and thanking him.
Sometimes, we are like the nine lepers.
We received so much blessings and graces from God,
but as if we fall into the syndrome of Alzheimer’s disease,
and we forget to turn to God and articulate
the simple words: “THANK YOU!”
We become a world of ungrateful people.
Today, the gospel also talks about leprosy.
It is a disease that is so frightening and fearsome
during the time of Jesus.
It was fear-provoking that, then, if you were stricken
with leprosy, this is how the society treats you:
* you are thrown out from the community and family,
* you are ostracized, discriminated, and disliked;
* you are judged as a sinner.
And the outcome is dehumanizing
because you become:
* a person with a name but deteriorating body;
* a person that is breathing but devoid of life;
* a person with identity but empty of dignity;
The above were the tragic experiences
of the ten lepers in our gospel today.
They were together because they were all sick,
miserable, and with a life without future.
That is an event that happens time and again in life.
Whenever crisis and disasters attack us,
the HEALING GRACE of God
come pouring on us like rain.
Read the following outcome of crises in our lives:
When the tragedy of September 11 hit us,
people around the world prayed together.
The HEALING GRACE of prayer united us
to make happen the peace we are dreaming of.
In a bus where people were not willing to talk
with each other because of differences in color, dress,
odor and fear, everything changes when the bus
gets an accident, and people hasten to pray.
The HEALING GRACE of unity move our hands
to cling to one another for support and strength.
“In a family where brothers and sisters had been fighting
like mad, sit together around the coffin
with the dead body of the mother they all love” and pray.
The HEALING GRACE of love makes our heart
discover that God is a God of love.
In the midst of these heartbreaking stories of life,
one thing is certain: JESUS IS WITH US,
he HEALS our broken heart;
he HEALS our bankrupt moral fiber!
With the presence of Jesus, healing brings back
the many disfigured faces and relationships;
it overcomes the power of hatred we hold for each other;
and it erases humiliating labels we throw to one another.
So, today, in front of the table of love and fellowship,
with faith burning in our hearts, we say to Jesus:
“THANK YOU, LORD!”
Beloved friends, believe in Jesus!
Jesus welcomes and embraces you
as his brothers and sisters, not as lepers!
Jesus carries you lovingly in his heart!
Jesus loves you!
God bless you all!
Fr. Romy Seleccion, MS
ParishWorld.net Sunday Homily Editor
(Fr. Romy Seleccion, MS, is a missionary of Our Lady of Lasalette. He is assigned to the Diocese of San Bernardino and serves as pastor for St. Christopher Catholic Church in Moreno Valley, CA.)