28th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Reading I: 2 Kings 5:14-17 II: 2 Timothy 2:8-13
11 On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Sama'ria and Galilee.
12 And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance
13 and lifted up their voices and said, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us."
14 When he saw them he said to them, "Go and show yourselves to the priests." And as they went they were cleansed.
15 Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice;
16 and he fell on his face at Jesus' feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan.
17 Then said Jesus, "Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine?
18 Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?"
19 And he said to him, "Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well."
(v.12) Persons with skin disease were not clean or holy. Therefore, they were isolated from concourse with the holy people of God in cities and were banned from participation in the Temple worship of God.
(v.13) This is the only time in Luke that "Jesus Master" was addressed by people who were not Jesus' disciples.
(v.14) Jesus, the Holy one of God that steps across the boundaries separating clean from unclean to restore the unclean person to the nurture of human community.
(v.15) Only the Samaritan leper sees and fully understands what has really happened. His seeing leads him to understand not only that he is healed, but that he has found God's salvation. His return to Jesus amounts to his conversion.
(v.17) Only one leper returned. Although he is a "foreigner," he acknowledges the gift he has received from Jesus. His acknowledgement implies an awareness that God is at the heart of the gift.
(v.18) The Samaritan leper praises God for what Jesus has done. What was promised, repeated and has come to fulfillment in Jesus: God's salvation is for all peoples.
(v.19) Jesus cured all ten lepers. Only to the one who returned to give thanks, did he say "You faith has saved you?" The salvation the leper had gained is clearly more than a physical healing. That is why Jesus wanted the other nine lepers to return, not to show them his disappointment, but because he had more to give them.
One Main Point
Glorifying God is a way to say thanks to Him. Gratitude is itself an act of faith. The salvation the Samaritan leper has gained from his act of faith is clearly more than his physical healing.
The story of the ten lepers raises one question "Why the other nine lepers did not return to give thanks and praise to Jesus?" Try to search in your heart to come up with an answer.
Thanksgiving is a dominant note in Jesus' prayers. You can see the joy in the Samaritan leper and the salvation he has gained. Have you experienced the joy and the salvation whenever you say thanks or praises to the Lord?
Glorifying God is a way to say thanks to Him. A Marian gratitude filled with wonder "The Mighty One has done great things for me and Holy His Name" is a good example to follow. How often do you praise God for what He has done for you, including the ones you appreciated and the ones you did not expected to happen?