28th Sunday in Ordinary Time, C Sunday Connection

Sunday Connection

Sunday Connection

God speaks to us in many ways, including through the Sunday Scripture readings. The Sunday Connection provides useful background and activities to better understand the upcoming Sunday's Scripture readings, helping you to connect the Scripture to daily life in a meaningful way.


Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C

Sunday, October 9, 2016


This Sunday's Readings


First Reading
2 Kings 5:14-17
Naaman is cleansed of his leprosy and chooses to serve the God of Israel.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 98:1,2-3,3-4
Rejoice! The salvation of God is made known to all.

Second Reading
2 Timothy 2:8-13
Those who remain faithful to Christ will share Christ's glory.

Gospel Reading
Luke 17:11-19
Jesus heals 10 lepers, and one, the Samaritan, returns to give thanks.

Background on the Gospel Reading

Today we hear about how Jesus, continuing on his journey to Jerusalem, heals 10 lepers. This story is a lesson about faith and reminds us that faith is sometimes found in unlikely places. Ten people afflicted with leprosy cry out to Jesus. Struck with pity, Jesus heals all 10. However, only one is described as glorifying God and returning to thank Jesus. The one who returns is a Samaritan, a foreigner. In the Jewish circles in which Jesus lived, Samaritans were looked down upon because of the differences between the two communities in their observance of Judaism. It is significant, therefore, that Jesus commends the Samaritan for his faith, which has been his salvation. Throughout Luke's Gospel, faith is found in surprising places.

Another lesson for us in this Gospel has to do with salvation. All 10 of the lepers were given the gift of healing, but in his gratitude to God for this gift, the Samaritan found salvation. Our salvation is found in recognizing the gifts we have been given and knowing to whom we must offer our thanks.


Gospel Reading
Luke 17:11-19
Jesus heals 10 lepers, and one, the Samaritan, returns to give thanks.


Making the Connection (Grades 1, 2, and 3)

Children fluctuate between moments of deep, heartfelt gratitude and an attitude of entitlement. These fluctuations are normal. Among our tasks as catechists is to help foster the gift of gratitude, particularly gratitude to God for all of his goodness to us.

Materials Needed

  • A deck of playing cards with all of the picture cards and the cards numbered 6-10 removed. Tape onto one of the picture cards a piece of paper with the words Thank You written on it.

Preparation for Sunday Scripture Readings

  1. Invite the children to sit in a circle. Deal all the cards face down, except the thank-you card. Keep that one concealed behind your back until later.

  2. Begin the game by turning over one of your cards and naming as many gifts God has given you as the number on the card (for example, parents, brothers, flowers in your back yard). An ace names the number 1. Allow each child a turn to play a card from his or her pile.

  3. After all the cards have been turned over, say: I have the most important card of all. Bring out the thank-you card from behind your back. For all the things represented by these other cards, we must always remember to say thank you to God.

  4. Read today's Gospel, Luke 17:11-19.

  5. Say: In the Gospel this week, Jesus gave a most precious gift to 10 people. He healed them of a terrible skin disease, and only one of them remembered to say thank you. God does not want us to be like the nine who forgot the gift Jesus gave them. By saying thank you to God, we show our love and respect for him.

  6. Lead the children in a thank-you prayer for God's goodness.


Gospel Reading
Luke 17:11-19
Jesus heals 10 lepers, and one, the Samaritan, returns to give thanks.


Making the Connection (Grades 4, 5, and 6)

It is easy for us to take the good things in our life for granted. This temptation is particularly great for young people. We can move our young people from a sense of entitlement to a sense of gratitude by reminding them of the source of the good things in their lives and by teaching appropriate ways to offer thanks.

Materials Needed

  • None

Preparation for Sunday Scripture Readings

  1. Ask each person in the group to make a list of 10 gifts they have been given from God (for example, family, friends, health, talents, and so on).

  2. After everyone has had time to prepare their lists, ask: Who has given you these gifts? What is expected in return?

  3. Say: In today's Gospel, we hear about a person who was given a great gift by Jesus and was praised for his response. Read today's Gospel, Luke 17:11-19. Ask: Why did only one person return to Jesus to offer his thanks? What reasons might the others have had for not returning?

  4. Ask the group to reflect upon these questions: Why do we say thank you? What purpose does it serve? What is the consequence if we do not say thank you?

  5. Identify as many different ways as you know for saying thank you to God (for example, Mass, prayers, community/family involvement, acts of kindness/respect, and so on). List these words, expressions, and gestures on the board.

  6. Pray a litany of thanks as a group. Invite each person to name one or more of the gifts he or she listed in the first activity. After each one is named, all respond together: "We give you thanks, O God!"


Gospel Reading
Luke 17:11-19
Jesus heals 10 lepers, and one, the Samaritan, returns to give thanks.


Making the Connection (Grades 7 and 8)

Junior high is a time when young people need opportunities to discern their gifts. This Sunday's Gospel can inspire them to take inventory of their gifts and to offer thanks.

Materials Needed

  • None

Preparation for Sunday Scripture Readings

  1. Ask the young people to name things they recently borrowed from friends or family members and say when they are expected to return them.

  2. After each young person has shared, point out that we usually take special care of the things we borrow. Invite a volunteer to explain why. (Possible answer: out of respect and gratitude to the person who lent it to us)

  3. Tell the young people that we sometimes use the phrase “living on borrowed time” to describe a person who has recovered from serious injury or disease.

  4. Say: In this Sunday's Gospel, we are going to encounter 10 people who are able to live on borrowed time because of Jesus' healing.

  5. Invite a volunteer to read aloud Luke 17:11-19.

  6. Explain that to be a leper was to be like someone living with a death sentence. People with leprosy knew that it was only a matter of time before the disease robbed them of their lives. Ask: How would you feel if you were one of the 10 lepers healed by Jesus? Do you think you would have returned to give thanks? (Accept all reasonable answers.)

  7. Point out that the phrase “living on borrowed time” suggests that while most people “own” their own time, a person living on borrowed time is borrowing it from God.

  8. Explain that Catholics believe that all time belongs to God and that we are called to recognize that every moment of our lives is “borrowed time.”

  9. Say: This Sunday's reading is not just a lesson about what the other nine lepers should have done. It is also a lesson for how we are to live our lives every day. Our lives are a gift from God, and the time that we have been given on this earth belongs to God. We are stewards, or caretakers, of that time. This reading also reminds us that Jesus has healed us from the disease of sin. We must be thankful each and every day for the gift of our lives and for the gift of salvation in Jesus.

  10. Conclude with a litany of thanksgiving. Invite the young people to mention one thing they are thankful for. Have the group respond ”We Thank You, Lord” to each invocation.


Gospel Reading
Luke 17:11-19
Jesus heals 10 lepers, and one, the Samaritan, returns to give thanks.


Family Connection

Children fluctuate between moments of deep, heartfelt gratitude and an attitude of entitlement. These fluctuations are normal. Among our tasks as parents is to help foster the gift of gratitude, particularly gratitude to God for all God's goodness to us.

Read today's Gospel, Luke 17:11-19. Make a poster showing some of the gifts from God to your family. Display this poster in a prominent place and, as a family, write a prayer of thanksgiving for all of God's goodness to you.