28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

No-one has come back to praise God, only this foreigner.

Luke 17:18

Beginning with a few moments of quiet.

The intention is to open yourself to the presence of God within you.

Find a comfortable space and when ready, take three deep breaths. As you breathe in feel your lungs filling all the way up, when they are full slowly release your breath and feel your lungs emptying out fully. Repeat this three times.

Now return to breathing normally and take a few moments to reflect on:

  • Where in the past week did I encounter God in my life?
  • Where in the past week did I inhibit God in my life?

If you like to have some quiet music playing during this click below.

Led By the Spirit – Eric Nordhoff

and when you are ready read the Gospel

a familiar story, and when we encounter a familiar story we can be inclined to hear the version we know rather than actually hearing the story. Try to listen to it as if for the first time, hearing something new in it…

….. the Gospel Luke 17:11-19

On the way to Jerusalem Jesus travelled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered one of the villages, ten lepers came to meet him. They stood some way off and called to him, ‘Jesus! Master! Take pity on us.’ When he saw them he said, ‘Go and show yourselves to the priests.’ Now as they were going away they were cleansed. Finding himself cured, one of them turned back praising God at the top of his voice and threw himself at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. The man was a Samaritan. This made Jesus say, ‘Were not all ten made clean? The other nine, where are they? It seems that no one has come back to give praise to God, except this foreigner.’ And he said to the man, ‘Stand up and go on your way. Your faith has saved you.’

Reflect on the Gospel

Sit quietly now for a few moments and allow the images created by hearing the Gospel to emerge.

Use some quietening music again if you wish.

Fairytale – Ludovico Einaudi

Ask yourself, how is this Gospel speaking to my situation in my life in this moment.

This is not a difficult Gospel to interpret. The imagery is very straight forward. Sean Goan offers the following reflection on it:

In today’s gospel we see Jesus performing an act of healing. As with all Jesus’ miracles this was not performed simply to show that he had the power but to allow the sick
back into their community. In this case a group of lepers who are excluded because of their illness can only stand far off and call to Jesus to heal them. This he readily does
but the point made in the story is not that Jesus could do this but that people could still be so ungrateful. Blessed as we are in so many ways, it is easy to take things for
granted. The Samaritan in the gospel is there to remind us that learning to say thanks is a simple way to nourish our relationship with God.

SEAN GOAN – Let the Reader Understand, Year C

Here is a synopsis of the Franciscan method of Praying with the Gospels that you may find helpful with this Gospel this weekend. It is adapted from a daily reflection from the Centre for Action and Contemplation from Friday 7th October 2022:

St. Clare, in her fourth letter to St. Agnes of Prague, explains what is meant by Franciscan prayer. In this letter, written on her deathbed, Clare teaches Agnes to make a habit of daily prayer. This daily practice of prayer, however, is not a difficult task as Clare explains it. . . .

Clare suggests that we . . . “consider the midst of Jesus’ life, his humility, his blessed poverty, the countless hardships, and the punishments that he endured for our redemption.” [1] Here Clare is asking us simply to reflect on the public life of Christ.

Medievals had a great way of doing this type of meditation. When a cathedral or local church was being frescoed, a painter would come to town and the subjects for the paintings that were being commissioned for the church’s walls and ceilings would be decided. But whom would the painter use for his artistic models? Most often, he wandered the local streets, interacted with the villagers, and decided whose faces he might portray. One day you might go to church and find yourself in a fresco listening to Jesus preach. Maybe your face would represent one of the disciples, or one of the women who cared for Jesus. Perhaps one of your children would be listening to Jesus teach. In any case, you would be placed right in the story of the gospel; your face would actually be central to the story.

This is what Clare is asking us to do. Take the gospel for the day and imagine yourself in the midst of the story. Who would you be most comfortable portraying? What are you hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting? Clare asks us to spend a few minutes really entering into the gospel story of Jesus’ public life and imagining what it would be like to be there. . . .

Does this support your reflection on the Gospel passage or not? If so in what way and if not why not? Sit with that and ask what is this Gospel calling you to be or to change this week?

Close the time of Prayer with the Our Father

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

Take a moment now to bring to mind those you want to share peace with, family, friends, those where your relationship is broken.

Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil,
graciously grant peace in our days,
that, by the help of your mercy,
we may be always free from sin
and safe from all distress,
as we await the blessed hope
and the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen

Additional Resources

Fr. Kieran O’Mahony offers a scriptural analysis on our Gospel for this weekend in written or on video.

The following prayer is from the Center for Action and Contemplation community. I invite you to read it yourself below or to join with Richard Rohr in praying it (see also http://www.cac.org)

Loving God, you fill all things with a fullness and hope that we can never comprehend. Thank you for leading us into a time where more of reality is being unveiled for us all to see. We pray that you will take away our natural temptation for cynicism, denial, fear and despair. Help us have the courage to awaken to greater truth, greater humility, and greater care for one another. May we place our hope in what matters and what lasts, trusting in your eternal presence and love. Listen to our hearts’ longings for the healing of our suffering world. Please add your own intentions . . . Knowing, good God, you are hearing us better than we are speaking, we offer these prayers in all the holy names of God. Amen.