Fr. Tomy’s Homily 10 13 2019

Fr. Tomy’s Homily
28th Sunday in Ordinary Time
10/13/2019

The central theme of today’s readings is gratitude – in particular, the
expression of gratitude God expects from us. Today’s Gospel story of
‘the forgetful lepers’ presents a God Who desires gratitude from us for
the many blessings we receive from Him, and Who feels pain at our
ingratitude.
The sincere gratitude of Naaman towards Yahweh and his prophet
Elisha brought him a gift far more precious than the healing of his
leprosy. He received faith in Yahweh and was determined to serve Him
faithfully. Obedience to the prophet healed him and his faith in Yahweh
brought him healing of his sins as well. Humility obtained for him the
cure of his skin disease. Gratitude to Yahweh obtained for him a far
greater grace, faith in the true God. Jesus was pleased to see one of those
lepers, the Samaritan, coming back to Him, praising God for the favor
received. It pained Him that the other nine had not come back to do the
same. He certainly expected them back, not because He wanted to
receive their gratitude as to enable Him to complete His work of love, of
which their healing was only the first step to bring them to faith.
We must not fail to notice that Jesus did not withdraw His favor from
the other nine. They must have happily returned to their village after the
priest issued a certificate confirming their cure. But little did they think
of the greater blessings they missed on account of their ingratitude.
Eucharist means thanksgiving. When we come to take part in the

Eucharist we do what Naaman and the Samaritan leper did, we give
praise and thanks to God. Let our thanks find joyful expression in this
Eucharist. An un-reflective heart is an unappreciative heart, an
unappreciative heart is an ungrateful heart, and an ungrateful heart is a
sick heart. Our ego can become so demanding that it can make endless
claims and multiply needs. Hence, it is part of self-discipline to put a
check on the demands of our ego and teach it to be reflective, to consider
the blessings it has received to enjoy them and to be grateful for them.
Thanksgiving has the rare power to refine the person who gives it and to
gladden the person who receive it. Ingratitude on the other hand, hardens
the former and saddens the latter. Once a son wrote a letter to his mom.
Dear Mama. This morning I cleaned our lawn that will cost you ten
dollars. After lunch, I washed the plates and utensils that was worth five
dollars. This afternoon, you asked me to buy some items in the grocery,
since the sun was hot and the grocery store was far, I would charge you
ten dollars. Twenty-five dollars is the total money you owe me. Signed:
Your Obedient Son.

The mother wrote back. Dear Son. I carried you in my womb for nine
months I charged you nothing. I had a hard time giving birth to you that
I almost died I charged you nothing. When you were two years old, you
got sick and I was not able to sleep for three days caring for you but I

did not charge you anything. Overall, you owe me nothing because I
love you. Signed: Your Loving Mother.

Gratitude is the attitude of a sensitive soul appreciative of its gifts. It is
the sign of a good heart which, while it enjoys the gifts, is not forgetful
of the giver of gifts. The nine ungrateful lepers in today’s gospel were so
wrapped up in themselves and engrossed with the blessings they had
received that they forgot their benefactor and saddened Him. A grateful
heart is a humble heart, a humble heart is a religious heart, a religious
heart is a reverential heart, a reverential heart is a liturgical heart, a
liturgical is a praising heart, and such a heart cannot but be joyful and
healthy.
Our mission consists in leading people to God, in becoming Good
Samaritans. Let our celebrations of the Eucharist be done with
conviction and let our voice re-echo the Eucharistic prayer Lord we
thank you for counting us worthy to stand in your presence and serve
you.

Amen.