Imagining Deaf inclusion
October 5, 2022
National development must involve civil society, churches 
October 5, 2022

28th Sunday in OT (C)

Breaking borders, affirming faith

By Celia Regis

LUKE 17:11–19

We’re travelling with Jesus along the borderlands between Samaria and Galilee on our way to fulfilment of mission. We meet persons who are ostracised by their community, denied access to basic services of care, hungry for food and respect, excluded from the comfort of family and the opportunity of exploring their higher selves.

Inner peace escapes them, the horizon for positive change and healing seems so bleak. Where are the borders of our existence demarcated? In what ways do we find ourselves cast out without hope?

Still, even in the distance, we can recognise when light shines along the route we may have been forced to take. So, we call out, “Take pity on us!”. Even in our state of exclusion, Jesus shows Himself — calmly, authoritatively pointing us to obey the conventions of society’s organisation as a means, as only He can, to uncover and break discriminatory rules, whilst showing His real power to the world. Awesome!

In addition to our individual sense of alienation, I wonder about the mindset of the several protesting parties on our labour landscape. To what extent are the legal boundaries of industrial relations negotiations the source of stymied action or are conventions being stretched to facilitate ‘creative’ ways of getting desired results?

Teachers are claiming disrespect in the injunction filed against their attempts to rest and reflect and to start their days later, in compensation for the perceived injustices in salary.

Are the rules of engagement being broken? Are covenant relationships under siege? As He takes the role of interlocutor, Jesus is looking on, in the distance and up close at the efficiencies or not of the border controls managed by the ‘priest’ authorities, as well as the state of consensual engagement and empathy being practised by parties in the pull and thrust of societal and economic bartering.

Another important development which is gaining momentum is in the area of environmental justice. The concept of just transition and its timely implementation is challenging to the jefes and Energy workers impacted by environmental changes.

The value placed on financial investments to push back the spectre of ‘leprosied’ households due to job losses and to give life to the prescribed ‘healing’— the solution of access to re-tooling and re-schooling has communities of industry actors calling for pity.

How can goodwill be fostered for all, so that eradication of poverty through appropriate policies and frameworks may become reality?

In the meantime, as difficult as the restrictive borderlines look, the cries of people are being heard and Jesus’ response has shown the way to healing and restitution, often by unconventional means.

Can we transform our sense of desolation to acknowledge the graces we receive, not through our own doing, but via the true authoritative power and will of God? Do we remember or train ourselves to show honest gratitude, rather than platitudes?

What does each of us need to do in returning our minds and hearts to the Source of all grace and to follow the direction to “stand up and go on our way”, trusting implicitly that we are being provided for?

We pray therefore that each of us would recognise the miracles in our lives, which we often take for granted: health, ability to breathe, see, smell, touch, think constructively, learn, work, love, laugh, praise God for the rhythms of our lives.

We thank God for faith, the ability to know and practise ritual thanksgiving because we recognise the Source of our being and salvation.


The gospel meditations for October are by Celia Regis, a parishioner of the Our Lady of Fatima RC Church, Curepe.