Deacon’s Reflections

28th Sunday in Ordinary Time; Year C

Give to God What He Cannot Give to Himself

In this Sunday’s Gospel reading, why do nine out of ten healed lepers not return to Jesus to thank him?

  • Maybe they had run off to tell their families and friends about the miracle.
  • Perhaps they were busy trying to convince their families and friends that they really had been healed and were now safe to be around.
  • Or maybe they were preoccupied getting jobs to support themselves, now that they could no longer live in the charity-funded leper colony.
  • All are good and valid reasons.

What was different about the Samaritan leper, the one who did return?

  • The difference was in his spirit.
  • His faith in Jesus saved not only his body but also his spirit.
  • He appreciated the healer, not just the healing.
  • He didn’t seek help from the Lord only for his own sake; he went to him for God’s sake.
  • He had something he could give to Jesus — his appreciation, his praise, his worship — and he wanted to give it.

Are we like that?  When we go to Mass,

  • Do we go only for our own sake? Or do we also go for God’s sake? The best experiences in church happen when it’s both.
  • Do you give Jesus your appreciation when he comes to you in the Eucharist?
  • Do you delight him with the way you worship?
  • Does it look like you’re glad to be there?

When we pray for our needs, do we make our requests only for our own sake?

Or do we want our prayers answered for God’s sake, too? Think about what you’re seeking from him: How helpful could that be to God’s kingdom?

When we accomplish a goal, does God benefit from it? When he helps us through a trial, what is his reward?

We all have something that God cannot give to himself: our praise and our worship. Please don’t ever underestimate the value of these important gifts!

Tony Felton

Deacon, St Benet’s, Beccles.

Other Reflections

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Sunday Introduction

A Reader Writes

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Readings and Prayers

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