13th October 2019
In Jesus’s time people suffering from leprosy were total outcasts, being made to live away from society and ringing bells and calling out “unclean” for fear of infecting others. One of the ten men in today’s Gospel was doubly outcast in that he was also a Samaritan, a despised and hated group of people. Yet it was only this man who came back praising God and thanking Jesus for healing him; only this man who returned to God. It has been said, all ten were cured, but only one of them was healed. In today’s world there are many groups who are considered to be outcasts: drug addicts, HIV and
AIDS sufferers, asylum seekers, refugees, immigrants and travellers to name but a few.
Jesus calls us to love all people no matter what their circumstances.
This coming week is prisoner’s week. In many ways these people are outcasts from society, even after they have served their sentences. We are called to pray for them, to support them in prison and upon release to help them to rebuild their lives back in society.
6th October 2019
Yes, Lord, our faith is small, our faith is weak, fragile, but we offer it to you just as it is, so that you will make it grow. It seems to me that it would be good for all of us to repeat this together: “Lord, increase our faith!” Shall we do it? How many people among us have this strong, humble faith and do so much good! Think, for example, of certain mums and dads who face very hard situations; or certain sick people, even gravely sick people, who convey serenity to those who visit them. These people, precisely because of their faith, do not boast about what they do, rather, as Jesus asks in the Gospel, they say: “We are useless servants. We have done what we were supposed to do” (Luke 17:10). In this month of October, which is especially dedicated to the missions, we think of many missionaries, men and women, who have overcome all sorts of obstacles to spread the Gospel. They have truly given their life; as St. Paul says to Timothy: “Do not be ashamed to bear witness to our Lord, nor to me, in prison for him; but with the power of God, suffer with me for the Gospel” (2 Timothy 1:8).