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Sunday, October 13, 2013

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28th Sunday Ordinary Time

2 Kings 5:14-17
2 Timothy 2:8-13
Psalm 98:1-4
Luke 17:11-19

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transfer or transform?

"He returned with his whole retinue to the man of God." —2 Kings 5:15

After Naaman was healed of leprosy, he returned to give thanks to Elisha by offering him a gift. Elisha refused the gift and sent Naaman home to Syria (2 Kgs 5:16, 19). However, that wasn't the end of the story. Gehazi, the servant of Elisha, caught up with Naaman, falsely reported that his master changed his mind about accepting Naaman's gift, and then took the gifts for himself (2 Kgs 5:20ff). Because of Gehazi's greed and lying, Naaman's leprosy was not taken away. It was merely transferred from Naaman to Gehazi (2 Kgs 5:27).

Many people experience the same thing. Sin, sickness, and bondage are transferred, even when they seem to be removed. For example, even when we die, we have passed on some of our sicknesses genetically to our descendants. Worse than this, even when we repent of sin, we see our sins springing up in our children, friends, and others whom we have influenced. For example, when an alcoholic quits drinking, his children may start drinking. When a problem is seemingly resolved in one situation, the same problem springs up somewhere else. When we realize this, we are naturally depressed.

Is there any hope? Jesus is our Hope. Jesus transferred all sins onto Himself on Calvary. "It was our infirmities that He bore, our sufferings that He endured" (Is 53:4). "Upon Him was the chastisement that makes us whole, by His stripes we were healed" (Is 53:5). "The Lord laid upon Him the guilt of us all" (Is 53:6). Return to Jesus, so sin and its effects won't return to you.

Prayer:  Father, by faith and repentance may I keep my old fallen nature buried, never to return.

Promise:  "One of them, realizing that he had been cured, came back praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself on his face at the feet of Jesus and spoke His praises." —Lk 17:15-16

Praise:  Alleluia! Jesus is risen! He lives forever in glory!

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 22, 2013

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