Friday, October 08, 2010

Homily for the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Your faith has saved you. (Luke 17:19)


I have to confess being slightly puzzled by this miracle. What exactly are we meant to learnt from it? 


Is it perhaps about the importance of saying thank you and expressing our gratitude to God? 


Or is it rather about the faith of the outsider, the Samaritan, and the lack of faith of those who should have known better? 


Or it perhaps about the importance of faith in the miracles of Jesus?


Or is it even, perhaps about the unity of different races and ethnic groups? 


But there’s a problem with all these ideas. Though Jesus told the faithful, grateful Samaritan, “your faith has saved you”, the other 9, who showed little gratitude either to Jesus or by visiting priests, who seemed have less faith than the foreigner, who appear to turn their backs on the Samaritan, these nine are healed too. Any point we might want to draw from the story seems contradicted by this fact. 


So perhaps the message actually is this: God gives to good and bad, rich and poor, Jew and Samaritan alike. He deserves our gratitude, but gives whether he receives it or not. And so should we. It the fundamental principle of Christian charity. As Christians we do not care for others because they are good, or faithful. We do not care for other people because they too are Christians and overlook those who are not. We care because God cares, and our charity is for Christian and atheist, Mulsim and Hindu, European and Asian. We do not seek faith or conversion as the fruit of our charity - because our charity is already the fruit of God’s infinite love. 

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