Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion
1st Reading: 2 Kings 5:14-17
2nd Reading: 2 Timothy 2:8-13
Responsorial: Psalm 98:1-4 Gospel: Luke 17: 11-19
Allowing Jesus to Bring Wholeness and Healing To Our Lives
I will no longer offer holocaust or sacrifice to any other god except to the Lord. (2 Kings 5:17)
Naaman had been reluctant to dip in the Jordan seven times, but he did it anyway. And so each dip in the river brought him greater healing. Yes, his flesh was healed. But far greater was the healing of his heart as he came to believe in the Lord.
Similarly, ten lepers approached Jesus, and all he asked them to do was show themselves to the priests. Off they all went, and for one of them, each step loosened the grip of doubt and loneliness a little more. A magnificent healing took place in his body, but a greater healing took place in his heart as he came to see Jesus in a new light.
We all have areas in our lives where we need healing: perhaps in our bodies, our relationships, or our inner thoughts. Yes, the Lord wants to bring restoration. But he also wants to help us come to know him in a deeper way. He wants to take us from knowing about his love to being embraced by it. He wants to take us from knowing about his power to experiencing it.
So as you bring your needs to the Lord, bring him your heart as well. Each dip in the Jordan was a conscious choice that opened Naaman to God’s blessings. Each step toward the priests helped that former leper see Jesus as Lord. What steps is God asking you to take? Whatever they are, decide to say yes, and God will respond with his life-giving grace.
May we never give up but continue to listen and obey. May we all take each step in faith and grow in trusting him. Our hearts will grow in trust and worship because we will be convinced that “there is no God in all the earth” like our God (2 Kings 5:15). He is faithful!
“Jesus, I want to receive all that you have for me. Show me what steps you want me to take. You are my hope and my strength.”
Questions for Reflection or Discussion
1. In the first reading, Naaman, an army commander from Aram, is healed of leprosy through the prophet Elisha. The impact of this healing can be seen in his words to Elisha: “Now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel . . . I will no longer offer holocaust or sacrifice to any other god except to the LORD.”
• Why do you think his healing caused Naaman to turn from false gods to the true God and Lord?
• Do you believe that God still heals today? Why or why not?
• In your own life, were there any times you were healed by God or witnessed God’s healing? What impact did it have on you?
2. The response in the responsorial psalm is: “The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.” The responsorial psalm ends with these words: “All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation by our God. Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands: break into song; sing praise.”
• How would you describe the difference between God’s healing power and his saving power?
• In what ways have you experienced the Lord’s saving power? What was your response?
3. The second reading ends with these words: “If we have died with him we shall also live with him; if we persevere we shall also reign with him. But if we deny him he will deny us. If we are unfaithful he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself” (2 Timothy 2:12-13).
• What do you think these words mean?
• How do they apply to you personally?
4. In the Gospel, only one of the ten lepers who were healed came back “glorifying God in a loud voice;
and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him.”
• How does this story apply to you? For example, how often do you spend time in prayer praising and thanking God for the many blessings you have received from him? How often do you take time to praise and thank the Lord for saving you from sin and eternal separation from him?
• What steps can you take to become more like the one leper who returned?
5. The Gospel ends with these words of Jesus to the leper who returned: “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.”
• What do you think is the significance of these words to the leper who returned compared to what happened to the other lepers who did not return?
6. The meditation begins by speaking of the deeper healing that took place in the heart of Naaman “as he came to believe in the Lord” and in the leper who returned to Jesus “as he came to see Jesus in a new light.” The meditation then goes on to speak of the deeper healings each of us may need in our hearts as well: “We all have areas in our lives where we need healing: perhaps in our bodies, our relationships, or our inner thoughts. Yes, the Lord wants to bring restoration. But he also wants to help us come to know him in a deeper way. He wants to take us from knowing about his love to being embraced by it. He wants to take us from knowing about his power to experiencing it.”
• What are some areas in your life that need to experience a deeper healing?
• What steps can you take to bring them to the Lord?
7. Take some time now to pray and ask the Lord to bring wholeness to those areas of your life most in need of his healing touch. Use the prayer below from the end of the meditation as a starting point.