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Bulletin: October 9, 2022

Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

This Sunday’s readings explore how we see and respond to blessing in our lives. We hear two stories of healing and of thanksgiving, of a powerful military leader Naaman, and of a powerless Samaritan leper. Both are examples of humility and gratitude that mark the presence of faith in God. We observe that both Naaman and the leper had their horizons expanded by their healing. Once healed, they did not simply attribute this to a stroke of luck, and then go on with their lives. Instead, they began to see God on the move, reaching out to everyone, and actively blessing all creation. Jesus notes that the leper’s faith saved him, because he was receptive to seeing this fuller reality. Faith changes our perception. Faith allows us to see beyond our usual boundaries, to embrace a loving God, and to participate in sharing that love with others.


Saint Luke has a special interest in Samaritans. In Luke and in Acts, Samaritans keep popping up, both in parable and in the narrative. In today’s Gospel, Jesus travels among peoples with a long history of hostilities between those loyal to the Temple in Jerusalem, and those (Samaritans) who rejected it. They shared many common beliefs, and honored the God of Abraham and Moses. As in many conflicts, two groups who have much in common tragically have the most intense disagreements.

It was the Samaritan leper who returned to thank Jesus and praise God for his healing. Someone across the social divide became an example of faith in God, just as, earlier in Luke, the Good Samaritan demonstrated love of neighbor. Might you be part of a group that finds reasons to distrust another group? Jesus points toward new possibilities within and between families, ethnicities, and religious groups. If “the other” is in fact admirable, if we can learn from them, then perhaps we can work to be reconciled with them.


The passage from 2 Kings concludes of the story of Naaman, a foreign military leader who suffers from a skin disease named as leprosy. The full story of Naaman is well worth reading, beginning in 2 Kings 5:1, as it describes the journey of a powerful man desperate for a cure, and who finds it most unexpectedly. He has used up all the options available to the wealthy and well-connected. But his slave girl from Israel points him to Elisha, the little-known Jewish prophet. Other servants rescue Naaman from his pride, and he is led to accept healing.

This story illustrates how God’s ways are different from worldly ways. God acts primarily through the lowly and faithful, while power and wealth fail to solve the world’s problem. Those on the margins, or those with humility, are often bes

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