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The Bulletin Insert Sunday 9th October, 2016 Pentecost 21 year C ‘ Grace and Gratitude’

Lismore Anglican Parish Bulletin Insert Sunday 9th October 2016

‘Grace and Gratitude’      Luke 17: 11-19

This week’s Gospel from Luke tells of a community of pain transformed into a community of wholeness and hope in the presence of Jesus. In the space of just a breath, ten outcast lepers become a community healed. A trusting encounter with Jesus transforms this small band of misfits from unclean to clean, from separated to connected, from outsiders to insiders.

Destined to a life of exclusion and derision, the ten who were healed can now rejoin family and friends, to experience the gift of touch and embrace, and the religious life of the Temple so important to the Jewish people. All that Jesus asked of them was to say ‘Yes’ to his invitation.

When we ask for mercy, God’s grace says, ‘Yes!’

That’s the way it works. That’s how it worked then, that’s how it works now. And when God offers us grace, unholy becomes holy, filth becomes purity, and rags become robes.

The lepers were bound by their common affliction and by their miraculous healing. Nine of them received without question or any sense of gratitude the joy of this miracle, and rushed to celebrate with family and old friends.

Just one of the nine recognised God’s handiwork, and turned back with “shouts of praise to God” (Lk 17:15). And he happened to be a Samaritan, the one least likely (at least in their eyes) who would always be considered an unclean outsider by the Jewish community regardless of bodily affliction. But not to Jesus!

Who are the outsiders and ‘unholy ones’ for us today?

How do we judge who is in and who is out?

Are we not all broken in different ways?

Do we recognise God’s healing power in our lives? In the lives of others? And does God always heal in the ways we expect or recognise?

Jesus offers healing and wholeness to all who come to him saying ‘Yes!’.

“Grace is a beginning of glory in us.” (Thomas Aquinas)

Luke 17: 11-19     Jesus Cleanses Ten Lepers

11 On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. 12As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, 13they called out, saying, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!’ 14When he saw them, he said to them, ‘Go and show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they went, they were made clean. 15Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. 16He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. 17Then Jesus asked, ‘Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? 18Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?’ 19Then he said to him, ‘Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.’

2 Timothy 2: 8-15

8 Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David—that is my gospel, 9for which I suffer hardship, even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But the word of God is not chained. 10Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, so that they may also obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory. 11The saying is sure: If we have died with him, we will also live with him; 12 if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he will also deny us; 13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself.

14 Remind them of this, and warn them before God that they are to avoid wrangling over words, which does no good but only ruins those who are listening. 15Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved by him, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining the word of truth.