Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
"Stand up and go; your faith has saved you." (Lk. 17: 11-19)
In preparing for this reflection, I began by being excited about the opportunity. Then it morphed into fear of will I find the essence of Luke's Gospel (17:11-19).
I read different versions and synopses of the reading, trying to grasp the passage's crux and how it pertains to my life. Most importantly, I prayed, walked in the Spirit, and prayed again.
I had a dream of being in a group witnessing the lepers and seeing their cleansing. Some in my group said, "Wow, that's great," and walked away. But I stopped and stared with eyes as big as cartoon saucers. I didn't follow the group. The dream ended with this thought, "Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine?" (Lk. 17:17)
Many of us have been in gatherings, with friends, coworkers, or family, where we go along with the crowd. If the group decides to attend an event, you tag along because you want to belong, to be in the "in crowd." I have done this for years to fit in. Sometimes it is fun, even memorable, but never magical. The Samaritan, yes, that day was miraculous! His encounter with Jesus was life-changing. The healed man was open to his metamorphosis by God's divine power in Jesus Christ. Astonishing! Worthy of being praised!
Recognizing God's Mercy is Life Changing. But real change, real salvation is not in just asking for God's mercy and going about your business. It is in the thanksgiving for the outcome that is received. God hears us. He comes through with blessings and peace overflowing.
"So many times, You met my need,
So many times, You rescued me
That's why I praise You
I wanna thank You for the blessings You give to me each day…
For this I give You praise"
"For Every Mountain" ~ Kurt Carr
Saying "official prayers" to get your prayer in for the day is a start. But honest, soul-searching, heart-felt praying is a revelation. Mrs. Eva Mai Smith, former religious director at
Holy Name of Jesus Church in Los Angeles and mentor to me and many others, was the fiercest prayer warrior who ever lived. She told us in bible study, "Take everything to the Master! Take it to God. Give him the good, the bad and the ugly. He will handle it! Only He can get you through the storm. Read His holy word, chew on it like a juicy steak until you can taste, feel, and even smell His message to you. Spend time with Him. Thank Him. Sing to Him. Praise Him. Love Him."
My life turned around at her words. Openly praising God brought new meaning to my life and new ways to praise Him. I find He gives me "projects" to meditate on his word. God brought writing weekly Mass scripts and prayers of the faithful into my life. During the pandemic, God brought daily rosary prayer lines with worshipers across the country, and now writing this reflection, "Behold I make all things new," (Re. 21:5) --"Your Faith has saved you" (Lk. 17:19).
Therefore, be like that Samaritan. You can be in the crowd but not of the crowd. Be grateful. Be a prayer warrior like Mrs. Smith, and give everything to God. Be open to God. A Miraculous outcome is waiting for your unceasing praise.
"For every mountain You brought me over
For every trial you've seen me through
For every blessing
Hallelujah, for this I give You praise"
"For Every Mountain" ~ Kurt Carr
Author: Lady Bridgett Vavasseur, Knights of Peter Claver and Ladies Auxiliary, Sacred Heart of Jesus, Court 121, Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church, Los Angeles, California