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Sunday of the Twenty-Eighth Week in Ordinary Time

October 10, 2019

Sunday of the Twenty-Eighth Week in Ordinary Time

October 13, 2019

Second Book of Kings 5:14-17

Psalm 98

Second Letter of Saint Paul to Timothy

Luke 17:11-19 

The readings for the last few weeks have been speaking about faith.  Saving faith, as we see in today’s Gospel, is more that merely believing something.  Ten lepers believed that Christ could heal them.  After being healed only one returned glorifying God and thanked Him for being cured.  And it was to that one leper that Jesus says, “Your faith has saved you.”  A saving faith is one which causes us to respond to the person of Jesus Christ.  Faith is what causes us to return to Him again and again in thanksgiving and praise.  It is surely not just coming to Mass on Sunday and punching the clock that will guarantee you a spot in heaven.  Faith is much, much more than that. 

Yes, true faith is in the person of Jesus Christ.  One of the biggest differences we see in Protestants and Catholics centers around how we are saved.  Protestants believe that we are saved by faith alone.  “Jesus Christ is my personal Savior.”  Close, but no cigar!  Catholics believe it is more complex than that.  We believe that a saving faith is one that transforms ones life completely.  Like the lepers in today’s Gospel narrative.  Ten had faith that Jesus could heal them but it only changed one of their lives.  That was the one that was saved.  We all know that true faith in our life must bear fruit.  The tree is our faith, the fruit is our works.

We cannot just simply agree that Jesus is the Son of God and expect that belief is enough to get us into heaven.  If we just go to Jesus for the things we want or so we can get into heaven then we are like the nine lepers in the Gospel.  We are merely looking to get something we want.  This attitude creates an ungrateful heart.  A grateful heart is one that acknowledges God as Lord and decidedly transforms us.  It is a heart that makes us fall on our knees in gratitude.

Gratitude is the one response that is appropriate in all things.  Scripture says, “In all things give thanks.”   (1 Thessalonians 5:15)  But how many of us are truly grateful?  A deacon classmate of mine recently told me how upset some of his parishioners were about the new priest in his parish who is from a foreign country.  They were upset because of his accent.  They weren’t thankful that a holy priest left his home country, his family, and his friends and came thousands of miles so he could serve them and the Church.  This was a true sign of a selfish and ungrateful heart.

So them what is the answer?  A heart full of gratitude has little room for rebellion.  One of my favorite movies is “Amadeus,” the story of Mozart and his rival Antonio Salieri.  For Mozart composing came naturally and he missed the opportunity to show his gratitude to God.  Conversely, Salieri, whose ability as a composer paled that of Mozart, would thank God over and over for each note that he wrote.

Sisters and brothers, it is easy to say that if we were to spend more time in thanksgiving and less time complaining we would be a lot better off.  Most of us look to Christ for what He can give us.  That is not love.  That is using someone.  Love looks to what it can give to the other.  Christ has to be someone we truly love.  Someone we need to seek out daily, someone we ache for daily, someone we cannot live without.  If not we deny Him like the nine lepers did.  We seek to use Him and not love Him.  A saving faith in Jesus is one that transforms our life, makes us return to Him on our knees, glorifying and praising Him for what He has done for all mankind.  He may not have saved us from leprosy, but what He did was much greater.  He saved us from eternal death if we only allow Him to change our lives and then be eternally grateful for it.  In the words of Maestro Salieri, “Grazie Dio.” 

Question of the Day: Are you grateful for every gift, regardless of how small or large, that God has given you?

Prayer: Lord God, make me think of You unselfishly.  Let me discover Your unconditional love in everything, so that my life may truly be happy and blessed. 

Prosit

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Assistant Director for Retreat Ministry

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