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.
The first verse of today’s Gospel reading is significant: Jesus is travelling along the border between Samaria and Galilee. Luke makes it clear that, among the lepers who were healed, one of them was a Samaritan, from a despised ethnic group whose beliefs were held suspect by the Jews.
Jesus isn’t afraid of traveling in borderlands, and he refuses to be held to the unjust standards that would counsel him to rebuff a Samaritan. This isn’t simply an account of healing. It’s much more than that: It is a summons from Jesus to follow him, to transcend the borders that have been created and to reach out to those considered “other” in the world. This is an invitation to freedom for us all, to liberation from borders that separate us from one another. Such an invitation is itself a sort of healing, and that’s something to be thankful for.
—Fr. Martin Connell, S.J. serves John Carroll University, University Heights, OH, as professor of education. He is also the Rector of the Jesuit community there.
Thank you, Father, for creating us and giving us each other in the human family.
Thank you for standing with us in all our joys and sorrows, for your comfort
in our sadness, your companionship in our loneliness.
Thank you for yesterday, today, and tomorrow, and for the whole of our lives.
Thank you for friends, for health and for grace.
May we live this and every day
conscious of all that has been given to us. Amen!
—© 2013, William H. Sadlier, Inc.