"Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!"

Sunday Gospel for October 13, 2013 (28C) offers a striking image for the sacrament. Ten lepers approach Jesus, seeking cleansing. The disease not only consumed their flesh, but separated them from the worshipping community. In contrast to other miracles, Jesus does not heal them instantaneously. Rather he gives a command which, as we shall see, had a trajectory far beyond first century Palestine.

Sunday Readings' Discussion Questions
Twenty-eigth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Oct. 13, 2013 (28C)
From the Center for Liturgy at Saint Louis University

Sunday Mass Readings
Podcast of the Readings
Video of Reflections on Readings
Lecturas y Comentarios
Prayer of the Hours
Burning Question: "Why the rituals for the lepers to be cured?"

Questions on Sunday's Readings for use by discussion groups,
prayer groups, or for individual prayer.

First Reading
Second Book of Kings, Chapter 5, Verses 14-17

1. Naaman was expecting special and involved treatment. Maybe he doubted the ordinary directions from Elisha to wash in the river. How could this be sufficient to cure his leprosy? Which do you think God uses more often to communicate with you, extraordinary signs or ordinary things? Explain.

2. Have you ever brought sand, shells, rocks, anything from foreign places back to your home? What does Naaman’s transporting of holy ground back to Syria say to you?

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 95: 1-2, 6-7, 8-9

1. Our psalmist encourages us not to harden our hearts when we hear God's voice. Do you find it difficult sometimes to carry out God's will in your life even if you believe He is speaking to you? Give an example.

2. The psalm reminds us that we are like sheep and the Lord is our shepherd. Are you willing to be just an ordinary sheep among His flock? If so, what does it mean to you to be shepherded by the Lord?

Second Reading
Second Letter of St. Paul to Timothy, Chapter 2, Verses 8-13

1. Name some people you think have suffered for the gospel. Who suffers for the gospel today? Do you? In what ways?

2. “I bear with everything for the sake of those who are chosen so that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus.” How could this work? Is Paul saying that your suffering is linked with the salvation of others? Besides the ones you love, are you connected anyone in need of salvation?


According to Luke, Chapter 17, Verses 11-19

1. The ten lepers stood at a distance, waiting for Jesus. Who stands at the margins of society today waiting to be healed or accepted? Is there any little thing that you can do to help heal a person’s wounds?

2. Here and in the First Reading it was the foreigners, Naaman and the Samaritan, who were grateful for their healing. Did God give generously regardless of gratitude or ingratitude? Do you give of yourself or your goods when you suspect ingratitude? Are you always grateful when God pours grace into your life?

Online Sunday Bible Study Group
Please share below your reflections on the above Sunday Readings. May we be blessed by God's words as reflected in your thoughts and experience-sharing.

1 comment:

  1. "Pity" does not occur very often in the Gospel. It is significant because it indicates a complete freedom from guilt about the sickness that afflicts the people involved. In the mind of the people in those days, sickness like leprosy was considered to be punishment from God. In which case we would expect to hear the word "mercy". These people then were suffering from double opprobrium...Leprosy and "Samaritanism". Going to show themselves to the priest was important, not for the cure itself but for the validity of the testimony which was sure to follow...the priest would be a valid witness and the morality of the cured person would fall under the title, righteousness. Rituals are important. They have a deep meaning before the eyes of God as well as before the eyes of humans. We must remember, it is not red tape, it is prayer in action. This reminder was given to Naman by his lieutenant. We must abide by this process too.