YEAR C: HOMILY FOR THE 28TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: GOD IS MOST DESERVING OF OUR GRATITUDE
BY: Rev. Fr. Jacob Aondover ATSU
HOMILY: READINGS: 2KINGS 5:14-17, PSALM 98, 2TIMITHY 2:8-13, LUKE 17:11-19
√•He saves, protects and sustains us always
√•We may, in fact we are always unfaithful, but he has ever been faithful to us
√•He steps into our life’s situations even when we don’t deserve his help
√•Like Naaman and the Samaritan leper, we simply cannot not APPRECIATE God daily.
Let me welcome you my brothers and sisters to this day of the Lord, the 28th Sunday of the year, a Sunday that was very distant from us yesterday but is here with us today. What more can we say but “THANK YOU LORD”; thank you Lord for the gift of life and sound health, thank you Lord for the gift of family, friends, work, food and everything. Indeed dear friends, thanksgiving to God is the reason for our worship today because a daily attitude of gratitude makes one’s life a beatitude. Today we thank God for his mercies upon our humanity which is always in need of mercy.
The healing of Naaman the Syrian in 2Kings 5:14ff was a consequence of God’s mercy and the cleansing of the ten lepers in Luke 17:11ff was a direct result of compassion. “…Jesus was met by ten lepers who stood way off and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy”; in response Jesus said “Go and show yourselves to the priests, they were healed while on their way” (Lk. 17:14).
My dear friends in Christ the mercy of God is the root of our blessing, healing and progress. But for the mercy of God, we would not be where we are today. It beholds on us therefore, to develop a spirit of appreciation and gratitude to God for being who he is to us. Ingratitude is a cankerworm that has eaten deep into man; it has made a home inside of man and is affecting him seriously. Like the nine lepers in Luke 17:11-19, we come to Christ many times with desperate longing, once we are blessed however, we go away rejoicing and never return to say ‘thanks’.
The Samaritan leper, because of his thanking God, was really whole, in body and in soul, for that time as well as for eternity because he was saved indeed (Lk. 17:19). Naaman’s sincere gratitude to Yahweh brought him faith in Yahweh and he was determined to serve him faithfully. Naaman’s obedience to Elisha healed him and his faith in Yahweh healed his sins. While humility obtained for him the cure of his skin disease, gratitude won him a far greater grace: faith in the true God, “Truly I know there is no other God, in all the earth except in Israel” (2Kgs. 5:15). Jesus was pleased to see the Samaritan leper on his return to praise God for saving him. He expected all of them to return not for their praise of him but so he could complete the healing work he had begun in them and bring them to faith. The other nine must have gone home happily with their certificates of fitness issued by the priest; the Samaritan leper however, went home not just healed but saved too.
May I challenge all of us to try gratitude in those moments when we need a saving. At those times when our prayers seem unanswered by God, may we hear God saying to us ‘try saying thank you for all you have done for me’. May we learn to acknowledge the might of God and his providential care for us. May we remember that all we have is a given and a consequence of God’s mercy and so realize how needful it is to return thanks to him. Sincere gratitude does not add anything to God’s greatness; rather it profits us for salvation, we may do well to remember that always. Psalm 103:2 exhorts us: “Bless the Lord my soul, and never forget all his benefits”.
It was Shakespeare’s King Lear who said in the day of his tragedy: “How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child”. This is a call for all children to return thanks to their parents for all they have done for them. It is a salient call for us to be thankful to one another: Student to teacher; patient to doctor, passenger to driver, seller to buyer, etc. and vice-versa.
Gratitude is the attitude of a sensitive soul appreciative of its gifts. It is a sign of a good heart which, while it enjoys the gifts, is never forgetful of the giver of gifts. The nine lepers of our gospel were so engrossed with the blessings they had received and forgot their benefactor, this of course saddened him. We may try not to be like them. Beloved brethren always remember that, “A grateful heart is a humble heart; a humble heart is a religious heart, a religious heart is a reverential heart; a reverential heart is a liturgical heart; a liturgical heart is a praising heart which is in turn always joyful and healthy”.
For the grace to be always thankful to God and man we pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.
FEED AND EDUCATE THE POOR…
DON’T FORGET TO THANK THAT PERSON THAT HAS BEEN GOOD TO YOU TODAY