Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Kings 5:14 – 17 | Timothy 2: 8 – 13 | Luke 17: 11 – 19
“Stir into flame the gift of God that you have.” - 2 Timothy 1:6
At one time, stores located within mini malls and gas stations were referred to as Convenience Stores. A place where an item or two could be purchased swiftly. Patrons could quickly be on their way with no waiting in line or contending with traffic.
Today’s readings reveal inconveniences when poor Naaman had to plunge into the Jordan, not once but seven times. Paul describes his suffering, like a criminal, as he preaches salvation that is in Christ Jesus. The ten lepers are forced from their isolated environment and brought into the public eye, their wretched appearance seeking a cure of a horrible affliction.
In a world where inventions have made daily tasks less burdensome, there is a message here that reminds the listener that to be saved is to not stay on “easy street”. Put down the money and get on with life is the gold standard. Today the focus is on hardship, suffering, and helping others in order to save oneself. Maybe my way is not God’s way, as it wasn’t for Naaman, Paul, the ten lepers, and Jesus. Being obedient and doing things differently seem to be the road signs on the way to eternal life.
Purchasing our way out of inconveniences may have to be a lifestyle change for those who listen attentively and realize how scriptures and saints, acknowledged by the church, are delivering a personal message today. Instead of judging and condemning, I may need to cooperate in a measure that could help or even cure another and in so doing cure myself.
Jesus took the rough road on his return to the Trinity. Studying the scriptures and following up on what is heard at Mass each week will demand us to make changes that will lead us to Heaven, a place of eternal convenience!
Sr. Dorothy Maxwell, OP