On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, they called out, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were made clean.
Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
It is significant that the Samaritan returned “glorifying God in a loud voice.” The Samaritan thanked Jesus, but gave his glory to Christ’s Father. Jesus recognizes this as an expression of the very faith that healed the man. The Samaritan’s thanks go to Christ for his healing power, but the glory goes to the loving God who sent Christ to us.
The Samaritan recognized a very important truth: we are utterly dependent on God, who works through everyday channels of grace to provide us everything we need. This realization contains a challenge. God’s gifts come to us everyday in large and small ways; we are rightly grateful for them, but do they strengthen our faith? And when we give God thanks, do we give glory as well? Do we see in God’s gifts a reminder of our dependence and his care for us?
More importantly, as we spread our own gifts and talents into the world, do we do so for God’s glory or our own? Likely we cannot heal leprosy; nonetheless, God has given us all abilities that save and uphold our brothers and sisters. When people thank us for our work, do we remember to give God the glory? Do we encourage them to do the same?
Pope Francis says, “In every age of history, humans try to understand and express themselves better.” The Samaritan alone expressed his faith in words of thanks and glory. In our own age of sophisticated self-promotion, may we find words of thanks and glory to express our own faith, and help our brothers and sisters deepen their trust in God’s providential love.
—Fr. Michael Simone, S.J. is beginning his ministry as instructor in Old Testament Studies at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry
In the comfort of your love, I pour out to you, my Savior, the memories that haunt me, the fears that stifle me, the sickness that prevails upon me, and the frustration of all the pain that weaves about within me.
Lord, help me to see your peace in my turmoil,
your compassion in my sorrow,your forgiveness in my weakness, and your love in my need. Touch me, O Lord, with your healing and strength. To you, dear God, be all thanks and glory!
—Prayer to Christ the HealerPlease share the Good Word with your friends!