Home  |  About Us  |  Contacts  |  Products    
 News Items
 Top Stories
 News Briefs
 Also Featuring
 Movie Reviews
 Sunday Scripture
 CNS Blog
 Links to Clients
 Major Events
 2008 papal visit
 World Youth Day
 John Paul II
 For Clients
 Client Login
 CNS Insider
 We're also on ...
 RSS Feeds
 Top Stories
 Movie Reviews
 CNS Blog
 For More Info

 If you would like
 more information
 about Catholic
 News Service,
 please contact
 CNS at one of
 the following:
 (202) 541-3250


 This material
 may not
 be published,
 rewritten or
 except by
 linking to
 a page on
 this site.

  Word To Life

Sunday Scripture Readings, Oct. 13, 2013

By Jeff Hedglen
Catholic News Service

October 13, Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Cycle C. Readings:

1) 2 Kings 5:14-17

Psalm 98:1-4

2) 2 Timothy 2:8-13

Gospel: Luke 17:11-19

When my mother was first diagnosed with lung cancer, our family was devastated. After many weeks of chemotherapy and radiation, she was tested to see if the cancer was still there. The week before her appointment, she pinned a relic of St. Therese of Lisieux to her clothing and prayed for her intercession daily.

In keeping with the "shower of roses" that often accompanies the intercession of St. Therese, my mother encountered roses every day -- sent to her in a bouquet, on a card, smelling their scent in her room. The tests showed her cancer was gone. We were amazed and overjoyed. Like Naaman and the leper in this week's readings, we thanked God for the blessing.

A year later, her cancer returned and all the prayers we offered did not save her. We wondered: Why did the prayers "work" one time and not the other? Did God stop listening? We did not know what to think.

We did our best to remain faithful. Even in the midst of her pain, my mother continued to pray and read the Scriptures. Her faithfulness was rewarded in one final way: She died on Good Friday, going home with Jesus.

The words of St. Paul in the second reading speak to how we were feeling: "If we have died with him we shall also live with him; if we persevere we shall also reign with him."

Stories of healing in the Bible are wonderful to read, but they can be confusing and challenging when one's illness is not healed. This lyric in a song written by Wayne Watson was a huge comfort to me at the time of my mother's death: "Home free, eventually, at the ultimate healing we will be home free." The idea is that when a loved one passes away from illness he or she has experienced the ultimate healing.

God does desire to heal and make us whole, but many times it does not happen the way we think it should. In these times let us stand with St. Paul and remain faithful. When we do, we stay planted in the will of God. Christ's suffering has redeemed all human suffering. Uniting our suffering with Jesus' may not take away the pain, but it can bring meaning to our journey.


Have you or someone you know ever experienced a miraculous healing? Have you or someone you know endured long suffering? If so, how has this impacted your faith?


"If we have died with him we shall also live with him; if we persevere we shall also reign with him." -- 2 Timothy 2:11-12


Copyright © 2012 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The CNS Word To Life column may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed, including but not limited to such means as framing or any other digital copying or distribution method, in whole or in part without the prior written authority of Catholic News Service.

Questions about this Web site. Send to cns@catholicnews.com.
Copyright © 2013 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
CNS · 3211 Fourth St NE · Washington DC 20017 · 202.541.3250