Sunday, October 13, 2013

Power of Recognition (2013-10-13)

This is my homily for Sunday October 13, 2013.  I am a Catholic chaplain at  Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU, Teaneck),   FDU Newman Catholic Association,  New Jersey City University (NJCU) in Jersey City.  At FDU, Sunday Evening Mass is celebrated 5:00 pm during Fall 2013 and Spring 2014. at FDU Chapel, 842 River Road, Teaneck. 

28th Sunday, Year C
•• 2 Kings 5:14-17 •• Psalm 98
•• 2 Timothy 2:8-13 •• Luke 17:11-19

[__01__]  We read this Sunday from the Gospel of Luke about the 10 individual persons, 10 men suffering with leprosy. They desire healing

All 10 are healed, “made clean” ..for their leprosy is regarded as not only a physical malady but also a spiritual ailment.

All 10 are healed. Only 1, however, returns to express gratitude.

Recognition is his strength. Recognition – a virtue of recognition – is a strength for this Samaritan.

 [__02__]  Recognition is a strength.

Is it not the special virtue (strength?) of a star player – on the court or field – to recognize – to visualize [to comprehend] what to do under pressure?

Also, is recognition not a virtue that enables anyone – physician, attorney, teacher, mother, father – to choose the right path for someone in his or her care also under pressure or in a crisis.

Recognition is a strength.
… we speak of the “power of recognition”……

 [__03__]  ALTERNATIVELY – ON THE OTHER HAND --- Isn’t it true that we feel disconnected – detached – when we do recognize someone’s face but not recall the name?

Or, if we were to have a mid-term or final exam and we do not RECOGNIZE the questions.

That is, failing or struggling to recognize, we feel weaker, less capable.

Recognition is our strength. Recognition is also the beginning of relationships.

IN THIS ENCOUNTER / RELATIONSHIP WITH THE 10… THE Lord expresses disappointment that the other 9 – apparently all of the other 9 were Jewish, his own people – that the other 9 did not return …nor did they say, write, email, talk, or text… any kind of thank you note.

The other 9 did not recognize the gift, at least not explicitly or out loud.

 [__04__]   Perhaps, this also proves Jesus’s own words – about a prophet not being accepted  (recognized, thanked) in his own land / country. (cf. Matthew 13:57, John 4:44)

Sometimes, we may feel more appreciated outside our home country – away from our family than we do at home.

The ability to recognize – the will to express gratitude – these also are talents/strengths to be taught, to be cultivated in family life, in marriage, in relationships between parent to child, and child to parent.

We are strengthened, recognized, saying thank you for the gifts of the persons placed in our lives.

This recognition is not just for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas, birthdays, but a talent to be used and practiced every day.

Recognition is our strength.

[__05__]  The Samaritan carries this out – by his journey in reverse back to our Lord – this act of recognition.

He is recognizing God’s presence in his life.

[__06__]  Recognition is a strength.

Recognition is a spiritual strength because “recognition” is also part of our prayer, acknowledgement that we are made in the image and likeness of God.

RECOGNITION – by coming to Mass, by prayer, we are reminded that indeed, even if we have felt abandoned – or forgotten – by our own families, that God – as Father, Son, Holy Spirit – loves us.

RECOGNITION – that Jesus, Son of God, gave his life for us.
Recognition is a strength, Recognition reminds us of love.

[__07__]  Recognition is a strength.

Recognition keeps us honest.

Is this only because there is facial recognition, finger-print recognition on the Apple iPhone5s, and metal detectors … and E-Z Pass devices that indicate our exact latitude and longitude?

These are the forms of recognition (manifested as technology) which may keep us – officially / legally -- honest.

 [__10__]   However… what is the point guard trying to recognize on the court?

What is a physician/surgeon trying to recognize in the operating room?

What is a photographer or painter trying to recognize in a crowd or landscape?

All of them are trying to recognize – to distinguish –  
·         Light from darkness
·         Good from evil
·         Beneficial from harmful

They are also trying to recognize what is true.

Recognition is a strength.

When we come to God, we are are also in need of some healing, most often spiritual healing, forgiveness of our sins.

We come to the Lord for this forgiveness in the sacrament of penance and reconciliation.

This is also an act of recognition, recognition of actions, behaviors, attitudes that might bring darkness or cause harm.

Recognizing them, we are stronger.

Recognizing that Jesus makes this recognition possible, we express our gratitude.

Recognizing that we are made whole and healthy, we can also do as the Samaritan does…

Stand up and go, our faith has saved us.   [__fin__]   

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