Reflection on Today’s Daily Readings by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Scripture: Sunday, Oct. 10, 2010. Lectionary 145. II Kings 5:14-17. Psalm
98:1,2-3,3-4. II Timothry 2:8-13. Luke 17:14-17.
Today a Marian Congregation, The Society of Mary (Marianists) have summoned
its members to gather to pray. It is called a World Day of Prayer for the
Society which extends all over the globe with its lay and religious members
and all of its branches of committed people. This fits in with the fact
that all are called to be missionaries bring the Good News to all peoples.
That happens to be the major theme of today’s readings or we may call it
the universal call to holiness through the salvation offered to us by God.
No one is excluded as we discover through the liturgy of the word.
Naaman, a Syrian or Aramean listens to the Israelite servant who tells his
queen and master that Naaman can be cured of his leprosy if he just goes to
the prophet Elisha. He finally does and is encouraged to bathe in the
lowly waters of the Jordan. After complaining he gives in and voila! he is
totally healed and has skin as pure and soft as that of a newborn. We pick
up on the meaning of this narrative with Psalm 98 which is dedicated to
calling all nations to salvation through the power of God the Creator and
Redeemer. This is an easy psalm to pray and fits in with the needs of our
world today. It fits in with a World Day of Prayer.
II Timothy though not written by Paul is of his tradition and it brings
home the fact that Jesus’ sufferings, death, and resurrection are the way
to salvation. Paul’s writer has captured the message that is found
throughout the epistles of Paul both the authentic ones and those written
in his name (pseudonymity). It is a message of God’s unconditional love
that has great effect in those who believe and are saved throught the word
of God. Again the Paschal Mysteries are part of the theology and message of
this short excerpt in II Timothy.
The Gospel shows us how we are to imitate the lone leper who returns to
Jesus to thank him not only for his cure but also for his inner healing.
Again, salvation is offered to a leper who is considered by Jesus’ people
as a semi-pagan and at most a heretic. Yet, he is the only one of the ten
who offers thanks to the Lord. God’s love reaches us to those whom we may
tend to marginalize, mock, or to ignore. We sooner would walk on the other
side of the street to avoid them. Jesus’ early parable about the “Good
Samaritan” shows us where the true and integrated believer is. He risks
his own life by saving the wounded man and even paying for his lodging.
Did we ever do this for one of God’s people? We still have the chance to
change and to be open to the message of thanksgiving for the mighty works
of God. Many of them are only seen working silently in the hearts of those
being saved. God is gentle in the call to universal salvation. May we join
in the prayer of the Marianists on this Word Day of Prayer. Amen.