Ps 82:3-4, 6-7 (with 8a)
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke.
As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem,
he traveled through Samaria and Galilee.
As he was entering a village, ten lepers met him.
They stood at a distance from him and raised their voice, saying,
“Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!”
And when he saw them, he said,
“Go show yourselves to the priests.”
As they were going they were cleansed.
And one of them, realizing he had been healed,
returned, glorifying God in a loud voice;
and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him.
He was a Samaritan.
Jesus said in reply,
“Ten were cleansed, were they not?
Where are the other nine?
Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?”
Then he said to him, “Stand up and go;
your faith has saved you.”
Good News Reflection:
There might have been good reasons why nine out of ten healed lepers never returned to Jesus to thank him in today’s Gospel reading. Perhaps they were too busy telling their families and friends about the miracle they’d received. Perhaps they were busy trying to convince their families and friends that they really had been healed and were now safe to be around. Perhaps they were preoccupied getting jobs to support themselves, since they could no longer live in the leper colony.
All valid reasons.
What was different about the Samaritan leper, the one who did return? Why did he leave everything behind to show his appreciation?
When we experience a miracle — any kind of healing, answered prayer, or a gift we’ve been wanting from God — what do we do? We get busy enjoying and using the gift. That does glorify God, for a gift is meaningless when we sit it on a shelf collecting dust.
For example, if we receive the job we’ve been praying for and then do our very best in that job, we are glorifying God. If God brings us into a new relationship, we glorify God by building that relationship into the best it can be. If we are emotionally or physically healed and then use our new freedom to do a work or a ministry that helps others, we are glorifying God.
But that is not the same as returning to Jesus with a heart full of humble gratefulness. It is not prostrating ourselves at the feet of Jesus.
What the Samaritan ex-leper did was to take time out to pray, praise and worship. It was not only his body that was healed. His faith in Jesus saved his soul, because he understood the importance of spending time alone with Jesus in gratefulness.
God is doing a miracle in your life today. No matter how bad things look or how rough your circumstances are right now, he is doing many good deeds for you. However, in order to notice this, you have to stop what you’re doing and take time to praise and worship him. Thank him for being so good to you. Thank him for what he’s doing that you can’t yet see.
And stay there with your face at his feet long enough to discover what is good, what miracles are taking place, what gifts God is giving to you.
Oh, and then stay there a little longer — long enough to thank him. He will say to you, “Stand up and go; your faith has been your salvation.”
Beloved Lord: I want to discover behind every blessing Your love that embraces and holds me in Your hands every day. I want to thank You all my life. Amen.
© 2017 by Terry A. Modica