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Your faith has saved you

Thứ bảy - 08/10/2016 20:24
Ten lepers are cured but only one understands what he really needs .
Ten lepers are cured but only one understands what he really needs.
Deacon John Ruscheinsky
It takes courage to follow Christ. It also takes the wisdom to perceive what is really necessary in our lives. This brings me to a consideration of today's first Reading and Gospel, both about giving thanks to God our Father. Naaman the Syrian thanks the God of the prophet Elisha, the God of Israel, for curing him of leprosy. Ten lepers are cured in the Gospel, only one understood what he needed to do and returned to Jesus to give thanks to God. This man a Samaritan now cured of leprosy praises God, throws himself at Jesus' feet to thank him. The man received more than a physical cure; he received faith in Jesus.
We come to celebrate the Eucharist, we come to offer together the prayer that means, giving thanks to God. But this is difficult for so many people who live throughout our community. So many people are experiencing such terrible struggles, suffering with their own forms of leprosy. Some have chronic illness, some are dealing with situations they cannot escape from, some are suffering from deep psychological scars that effect every action of their lives. Some are dealing with abuse issues, some of which they may have even inflicted on themselves, and some of which others have inflicted on them. Numbers of people have come here to this Retreat House bringing their struggles to God. Their prayer and hope is to seek solutions to weighty problems or at least the comfort of a sympathetic ear. And yet despite all these problems in our lives, we still come to give thanks through the celebration of the Eucharist. We come to give thanks to Our Heavenly Father.
Why??? We Christians come because we understand deep within ourselves the meaning that is not easily expressed in words. This deep truth of the four actions of the Lord when he gave us the Eucharist. Jesus took bread, he blessed it, he broke it and he gave it. St. Ignatius of Antioch said: "I am the bread of Christ." We are all the bread of Christ. He takes us. He chooses us to be his followers, to share his life. He blesses us. He gives us his life in baptism. And we like Jesus sometimes feel broken. Then through his grace, we are resurrected and are able to be given to others as instruments of grace.
Points to Pray and Ponder: Only one thing in life is guaranteed: not happiness, the pursuit of happiness, not liberty, not even life. The only thing that is absolutely guaranteed is the only thing that we absolutely need: and that is God...we the beloved community. As we say in the Preface today, "It is right O God, to give you thanks and praise."

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