Sunday of the 28th week in the ordinary time

Theme: Be appreciative!

On this 28th Sunday in the ordinary time of the year C, one word that resounds in all the three readings we have today, is appreciation. We have to be grateful and be appreciative of the good deeds of God in our lives; irrespective of the situation we find ourselves. This is because, no matter the challenges and difficulties we are encountering presently in our life, God is not yet done with us, that is why we are still alive and there is every possibility that things will be better tomorrow than it is today. The knowledge of this fact will do us a lot of good. This is very important because some people forget what God is doing in their lives when they encounter challenges and difficult situations. Never allow the challenges of life to make you lose sight of God’s love for you, and all he has done to bring you to where you are at the moment.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, one thing that connects Naaman in today’s 1st reading to the Samaritan in the gospel of Luke, is the fact that they were both appreciative of the blessings of God that they received. In the 1st reading, Naaman appreciated the healing of his leprosy through the instrumentality of the prophet Elisha, and was willing to present a gift to the prophet; but Elisha rejected it. His proclamation of faith that “there is no God in all the earth except in Israel” and the collection of earth to take home from Israel, says a lot about the healing he received. He was appreciative and his healing brought about change and renewal in his life. In the gospel reading also, Jesus cured ten lepers, but only the Samaritan came back to say thank you to Jesus. His appreciation brought to him healing of body and soul. It went beyond the physical healing that the ten of them got from Jesus; his appreciation attracted more blessings from Jesus to him.

Dearly beloved in Christ, today’s liturgy is reminding us that we are all suffering of ‘leprosy’ in one way or the other in our lives. What are you doing towards your restoration to good health, just like Naaman and the Samaritan in the gospel reading of today? At different times in our lives we have experienced the healing and blessings of God, did you go back to him in appreciation or you allowed the celebration of your healing take the centre stage and you forgot to go back and say thank you to the healer? We have to try and guide against the action of the other nine lepers that failed to go back to Jesus in appreciation; it is not good.

No matter how small the favour we received from God or our neighbor is, we must be appreciative and learn to say thank you. This is very important and must be taken seriously in our life. God never gets tired of answering our prayers and requests, so we must never get tired of appreciating his works in our lives. May God grant us the grace to be appreciative of every good act we receive, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Peace be with you.

Homily for the 28th Sunday in the ordinary time of the year C, by Fr. Jude Ifeanyi Ifezime, C.S.Sp