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.
Today’s Gospel offers us the familiar story of ten lepers healed by Jesus, one of whom returns to thank him. In Jesus’ day and culture, leprosy had more than a disfiguring physical effect. The disease excluded the sufferers from the worshipping community, ostracizing them as spiritually unclean. Imagine the shame and loneliness associated with what we today call Hansen’s disease. Jesus healed more than these lepers’ skin; He restored their hearts and souls.
Only one leper is grateful enough to thank God. We might ponder with Jesus: “where are the other nine?” Did they feel entitled to the healing? Did they not appreciate the far-reaching benefits this healing would have for them?
Today’s Gospel can lead us to ponder several questions:
—Fr. Rob Kroll SJ is the Superior of the Prep Jesuit Community and teaches Theology and French at Creighton Prep.
To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything He has given us – and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him. Gratitude therefore takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise of the goodness of God. For the grateful person knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference.
Please share the Good Word with your friends!