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Posts Tagged ‘Chains’

Download 28th Sunday

Reflection Questions

  1. Our readings today have 2 characters who suffer from Leprosy. Lepers were excluded from living in the community. People didnʼt want to catch the disease. It was also commonly believed that leprosy was a sign of being punished by God and that the leper was both morally and ritually unclean. Having to live alone and outside the town (Lev 13,46) caused incredible loneliness and constant rejection. What are the modern forms of leprosy causing loneliness and rejection today? What might your form of ʻleprosyʼ be?
  2. Naaman was from Syria (a foreigner), he was a general in the Syrian Army (an enemy), and had leprosy (to be excluded). Israel and Syria were not friendly toward each other. Possibly from a previous conquest Naaman had even taken a Jewish girl to be a slave in his own household. Everyone would have been against Naaman! Consider the courage of Naaman in going to Israel to a holy man named ʻElishaʼ. What obstacles has he had to overcome for healing? He insists on taking soil from Israel home to build an Altar. What sign of thanksgiving could you ʻbuildʼ to offer worship to God for healing and forgiveness?
  3. Scholars suggest that St Paulʼs letter to Timothy was written while he was in prison. St Paul was ʻin chainsʼ, treated as a criminal, ultimately for his preaching the gospel of inclusion by God in Christ to the gentiles. He invites young Timothy to also be willing to persevere and suffer for this mission. What would you be willing to endure ʻchainsʼ for? Do you consider yourself a revolutionary to over-turn the patterns of exclusion in society?
  4. Gospel stories are like ʻice-bergsʼ. 90% of the story is beneath the surface. Underneath the story of the lepers are further stories of exclusion, hurt, isolation. The Samaritan figure is like Naaman in the first reading, a hated foreigner. Past events had caused Samaritans not to acknowledge Jerusalem and the Temple as the place of true worship. Healing from leprosy required a ʻcertificate of healthʼ by the Priest and only when this was given would a ʻleperʼ be accepted back into the community. The 10 lepers are obviously so keen to see the priest that they lose sight of who did the healing – Jesus. Have you had some ʻhighʼ moments in life and forgot to return and ʻgive thanksʼ to God. Write or share or pray a ʻthank-youʼ list to God noticing things in your life you do not normally say ʻthanksʼ to God for.
  5. God wishes to include and bring to faith the most unlikely of characters. Naaman and the Samaritan leper show God wishes to include rather than exclude. What does this teach us about God? How might this adjust your ʻimage of Godʼ? Which unlikely character in your workplace might God be inviting you to ʻbring to faithʼ? What misconceptions do you and they need to let go of so that Godʼs welcome and inclusion can be realised?
  6. What is one action that you will do to be ʻlivingthewordʼ this week?