Bible Group

Liturgical Readings for Sunday 13 October 
The 28th in Ordinary Time
St. Paul’s Bible Group

First reading:         2 Kings 5:14-17
Naaman the leper went down and immersed himself seven times in the Jordan, as Elisha had told him to do. And his flesh became clean once more like the flesh of a little child. Returning to Elisha with his whole escort, he went in and stood before him. ‘Now I know’ he said ‘that there is no God in all the earth except in Israel. Now, please, accept a present from your servant.’ But Elisha replied, ‘As the Lord lives, whom I serve, I will accept nothing’. Naaman pressed him to accept, but he refused. Then Naaman said, ‘Since your answer is “No”, allow your servant to be given as much earth as two mules may carry, because your servant will no longer offer holocaust or sacrifice to any god except the Lord.

Comment
After being convinced by his servant, Naaman, the Syrian commander decides to listen to the prophet Elisha to bathe, not in the clear mountain spring waters of Damascus, but in the waters of the Jordan, and not once but seven times. This is not how Naaman thought his healing should take place. Naaman’s flesh became “Like the flesh of a child,” for us this is a figure of baptism, which is spiritual birth … our real birth. Even the name Naaman means “pleasant or pleasing.” Through the sacraments, especially baptism, we become pleasing to God. Our Lord mentions this OT passage when talking about Gods works among the gentiles. Luke (4:27) As the Lord lives, whom I serve, I will accept nothing’ When our Lord sends the Twelve, he commands them, “Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.” (Mt 10:5) Two mule-loads of earth: Naaman was so grateful that he took some dirt from the Holy Land back home with him. To build an altar and offer sacrifice so he would never forget what God had done for him.

Responorial Psalm:  Ps 97

Response  The Lord has shown his salvation to the nations.
1. Sing a new song to the Lord
for he has worked wonders.
His right hand and his holy arm
have brought salvation.                 Response 
2. The Lord has made known his salvation;
has shown his justice to the nations.
He has remembered his truth
and love for the house of Israel.  Response 
3. All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation of our God.
Shout to the Lord all the earth,
ring out your joy.                             Response 

Comment
Sing a new song to the Lord: This psalm invites all nations and even nature to praise God for his wonders. This new song is thankfulness for God’s salvation. His right hand and holy arm: This passage is echoed by the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Visitation:

“He has shown might with his arm,
dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart.
He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones
but lifted up the lowly.

The hungry he has filled with good things;
the rich he has sent away empty”
(Lk 1:51-53 NAB).

Second reading:   2 Timothy 2:8-13
Remember the Good News that I carry, ‘Jesus Christ risen from the dead, sprung from the race of David’; it is on account of this that I have my own hardships to bear, even to being chained like a criminal – but they cannot chain up God’s news. So I bear it all for the sake of those who are chosen, so that in the end they may have the salvation that is in Christ Jesus and the eternal glory
that comes with it.

Here is a saying that you rely on:
If we have died with him, then we shall live with him.
If we hold firm, then we shall reign with him.
If we disown him, then he will disown us.
We may be unfaithful, but he is always faithful,
for he cannot disown his own self.

Comment
For St. Paul, Christians die spiritually with Christ and hope to live and reign with him forever. In the letter to the Romans we read “We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life.” (Rm 6:4)

The Christian life will require endurance, witness, and often even suffering, as Paul’s own case makes clear; while he is imprisoned for preaching the gospel (2 Tm 2:9), his sufferings are an example for us to follow him to salvation and glory.

Christ, on his part, will be true to those who are faithful but will disown those who deny him (2 Tm 2:12–13). The paradox, the sign of contradiction is that to live with Christ, we must die with him, meaning, dying to our own will and seek to do his will, but also persevering in the faith until death.

Gospel  Acclamation  1 Thess 5: 18

Alleluia, alleluia!
For all things give thanks, Because of what God expects you to do in Christ Jesus.
Alleluia!

GOSPEL:    Luke 17:11-19
Now on the way to Jerusalem Jesus travelled along the border between Samaria and GaliIee. 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.’

Comment
Healing and Salvation: We are dealing with two different graces here, the healing of the leprosy of all 10 lepers, and the salvation of the grateful one, it is the faith in Jesus manifested by this foreigner that has brought him salvation. This incident recounting the thankfulness of the cleansed Samaritan leper is narrated only in

Luke’s gospel, here, Jesus holds a non-Jew as an example to his Jewish contemporaries (as with the parable of the good Samaritan Lk 10:33).

What Moses prescribed regarding the purification of one who had been a victim of leprosy (Lv 13:45–46, 49; Nm 5:2–3). Leprosy is an excellent figure of sin, as it isolates and deforms the person, it is contagious and leads to death. Show yourself to the priest: That will be proof for them: the Greek can also mean “that will be proof against them.” It is not clear whether them refers to the priests or the people, at any rate, this is for us a clear figure of the sacrament of confession.