Commentary by Fr. Jesús Fernández on the Gospel of Sunday, October 13 (Lk 17, 5-10)

We are all sinners, but not all of us are corrupt, as Pope Francis says. Sin is an offense against God in the first place, and an offense against one’s neighbor. A sin is anything that goes against God’s will.

Sin is mortal because it is death of the soul and grace is reduced to its root. The sacrament of reconciliation with the corresponding absolution is required.

Venial sin is a sickness of the soul that separates us from God at one point without rejecting Him.

The lepers were marginalized from society and lived on the outskirts. They wore bells around their necks announcing their presence so that people would move away from them. The priests were the ones who gave the go-ahead that they were healed and could return to society and the temple. The lepers would go to the temple, as directed, to certify that they were healed.

Only one, not a Jew, but a Samaritan, returns to thank Jesus for healing him. Christ was the liberator and was despised and executed by priests who placed themselves above the ten commandments. There is much marginalization in society: children, young people, women, the elderly are marginalized into living in inhuman conditions by today’s society and by the wrongly called first world.

Legal force was a symbol of religious choice at the time of Christ. God listens to those who cry out for justice and dignity. We cannot have millions of people marginalized because of physical and spiritual illness: “Will not God listen to those who shout to him day and night or will he keep putting them off?” (Lk 18:7)

Both gratitude and anger spread from one person to another. It is beautiful when someone thanks another for their words and gestures, with simplicity and generosity.

We are better than we think, but not as good as we could be if we knew who Christ is for each of us. He teaches us with His total love what we can do and what we cannot do. In short, what is it that we should love.

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