The story of Naaman the Syrian, a gentile, in 2 Kings 5 is a delightful story of contrariness.
Today’s first reading picks up from when Naaman washed himself in the Jordan as directed by Elisha. Before this Naaman and his retinue had arrived at the prophet’s house expecting this underling of the king of Israel to bestow on him due attention and a deed of some consequence. Elisha did not go out to him; he merely sent a message with what to do: go wash seven times in the Jordan, a river considered by the Syrian to be no more than a muddy creek. It seems in all things he expected some degree of grandness, of pomp and circumstance. He concedes to the direction only at the goading of his own servant, who points out that if he would happily do a great thing then he should also be able to do a little thing. After this bathing Naaman returned to Elisha, but this time he is changed in spirit as well as in body; he goes in to stand before the prophet, and to beg a favour. His offer of a reward is rejected, but his plea to be gifted with Israel’s soil on which to worship God from his own place is granted. This is one of only two accounts in the Hebrew Scriptures of people being healed of leprosy, Miriam, the sister of Moses, in Numbers 12 being the other. Her account is, however, of a different sort, while Naaman’s being a gentile gives it a certain importance in its use for criticism against Jews in the gospels. The healing from leprosy is the connection to today’s gospel reading (Luke 17:11-19). Luke is very careful to give a geographical context to this story, and more attention should be paid to it: Jesus is travelling between the lands of Galilee and Samaria, thus between two peoples with a mutual animosity, the Jews and the Samaritans. They actually also share the same faith in the one God, and share the Law (the five “Books of Moses”), but the Samaritans’ heritage as an admixture with gentiles made them repugnant to the sensibility for purity among Jewish leaders returning from their Babylonian exile. In Luke’s narration no mention is made of the ethnicity of any of the lepers until one turns back to thank Jesus. This action seems to have caught the attention of later readers, perhaps through their not understanding the depth of the animosity between Jews and Samaritans, so that the story is often used in children’s liturgies or catechesis as if its purpose is to promote the importance of saying thank you. Look instead how Luke tells the story. This is his third mention of Samaritans. In the first a Samaritan village would not accept Jesus because he was going to Jerusalem. In the second, a Samaritan was portrayed as the true neighbour of the brigands’ victim, who was travelling from Jerusalem to Jericho. This time, as Jesus is to enter a village (we are not told if it is Jewish or Samaritan) he is approached by ten lepers who, in accordance with the Law, keep their distance even as they speak with him. They are told to present themselves to the priests, a step necessary to be declared free from leprosy and fit to return to their normal lives. What the declaration that one at least was a Samaritan (and somehow easily identified as such) draws out is that this single group is of a Jewish and Samaritan mix. Here in the quasi no-man’s land between the two territories those in adversity from both groups appear to form a community. This appears to be the more salient point: here in adversity former enemies live in unity. In their own way these lepers already embody the message of the Gospel.
Rev Dr Barry Craig – Homily Help Liturgia – Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
Children’s Liturgy As a group we gather in the MacKillop Room, listen to the gospel, sing the Alleluia and discuss what it all means for us as followers of Jesus in 2015. We usually respond to the word in a number of ways- using drama, mediation, song, drawing and creating in a meaningful way. We conclude with Prayers of the Faithful, often sharing our own prayers from the heart with each other. We often receive more spiritual wisdom from the children than that from a lot of adults!!
St Patrick’s Parish Beenleigh Sacrament Program Dates 2017
First Holy Communion
Parent Formation/Information 6.30pm Monday, 24th April
Rite of Enrolment Weekend of 6th and 7th May
Presentation of Lord’s Prayer Weekend of 20th and 21st May
Family Barbecue 6pm Thursday, 8th June
Family Session with Elizabeth, Carole 6.30-8pm Thursday, 8th June
Celebrating God’s Mercy 2nd Rite of Penance Tuesday 13th June
First Holy Communion Weekend of 17th and 18th June
Parish celebration cake? Weekend of 24th and 25th June?
School Holidays Activity Day Alive in the Spirit Friday, 30th June
Your Prayers Are Requested For
The Sick: Gary Battle, Graeme Becker, Carolyn Becker, Sofia Birch, Rosario Burgos, Billiie Fiscalini, Peter Fiscalini, Debbie Chambers, Priscilla Gabriel, Jeffrey Graver, Val Hintz, Mary Hall, Ben Hall, Mary Harrigan, Roy Hull, Brenda Humberstone, Arthur French, Dominga Kennedy, Peter Katsadores, Neil Kajewski, Mary Kolosowski, Steve Leibinger, Vicki Leibinger, Ruth Marshall, Jill Palmer, Carol Robertson, Paul Russell, Gavin Stewart, Rubeth Samuelsen, Jodie Taylor, Helen Topp, Kev Topp, Joe Topp, Peter Topp, Kallum Topp, Neil Wright, Googal Zillionoro Prayers are also requested for the following nursing home residents at Beenleigh, Pimpama, Bethania Gardens, Jimbelunga—Eagleby, Connolly Court, Palm Lake, Jeta Gardens and Woodbeck Village.
Announcements & Reminders
Catholics “Come Alive” Seminar 22,23 & 24th September 2017. St Patrick’s Church. To book contact Mary McGrath 0402 859 396
Catholic lay apostolate, Aneel Aranha will be speaking at the Church 7pm Thursday 14th September 2017.
28th July, in the School Hall. Tickets are now on sale at all Masses.
Our parish has implemented the Archdiocesan Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults policy. We are committed to high standards of recruitment, screening and selection of all of our employees and volunteers and undertake intentional strategies to maintain a safe and healthy ministry environment for all. If you are a volunteer reader, Eucharistic Minister etc. and have not received a Volunteer Data Form and the Code of Ethical Behaviour, please contact the parish office.
Young Adults meetings every Wednesday night (except the 2nd Wednesday of the month) in the Church from 7.30 – 8.45 (after 7pm Mass). Depending on the night, it may include prayer and praise, discussion, Scripture and Church teaching. If you’re in your late teens, twenties or thirties you will be very welcome!
St Patrick’s Parish Beenleigh Sacrament Program Dates 2017