Who Me? A Leper? No way!
Those ungrateful lepers! How could you be healed by Jesus himself and not even bother to thank him?
Today’s reading (Gospel of Luke, 17) gives the account of 10 lepers who were healed by Jesus and only one of them returned to Jesus “glorifying God in a loud voice” and fell at his feet.
Was he the only one who noticed he was healed? Seems like the others might have noticed that they were cleansed as well. Were they just not grateful, or did they not realize it was Jesus who healed them?
When Jesus first entered their village, the lepers all went out to him and stood at a distance saying, “Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!” Seems highly unlikely they didn’t notice they were healed, to say nothing of the fact that it was Jesus who healed them.
Naturally, the leper was a Samaritan, which is like a poke in the eye for anyone following the account, because the Samaritans were not exactly well-liked. Kind of a story of the so-called bad guy doing good.
Anyway, since the Samaritan had returned to Jesus, he was the one who got to hear the blessed words, “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.”
We can easily judge the nine lepers who did not return to Jesus, but we must be careful. We might see ourselves in them if we look closely.
Two things we should think about . . .
Do I recognize, and am I grateful for, the salvation that comes to me through the sacrifice of Jesus?
Secondly, if I look at all of the good in my life, do I realize that it comes from Jesus?
We might be as guilty as the nine lepers who didn’t bother to return. Whereas they were physically healed, we are also spiritually healed through the coming of Jesus.
What about that? Are we grateful every, single day for that?
How does my life reflect my gratitude for all that Jesus has done for me?
Good things to start thinking about because Advent is just around the corner and it will bring with it lots of reflection on what the coming of Jesus means to the world.