Gospel: Lk 17: 11-19
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.”
FORGETFULNESS LEADS TO INGRATITUDE: When Jesus sent the lepers to the priest, he initiated the process of re-integration to the society. Having been pushed to the peripheries, the lepers are undergoing a comeback journey. Regarded as ritually unclean, it belonged to the priest to approve of their cure. It is a journey of faith because the cure is not effected instantly on Jesus’ order. The healing occurred as they walked to the priest perhaps, sometimes later on. This interval between Jesus’ order and the healing might be the reason why the other nine fail to appreciate the healing as God’s gift. Ingratitude to God may arise from our forgetfulness. The fruits of our prayer may sometimes be realized in ways that we do not see God as our source. This is where we land into the same danger of attributing our success to ourselves!
PRAYER: Grant us O Lord, your wisdom to recognize your gifts in our daily activities.
GRATITUDE IS LOVE: We got so familiar with God that at times we take him for granted. Our familiarity with God is not a personal one to one relation, but arises from established rituals, practices, programs in the calendar year. This makes him distant God. People so badly in need of cure, in their extreme misery, ate together and stayed together. But once they were made clean their egos started ruling them. What a tragedy of life that most people deal with God in this fashion. Human brains need to be ‘rewired’ to be grateful. Christians should take God more seriously not because our gratefulness adds anything to God, but we become fuller human beings. It is the sure way to be more reformed and refined humans. May our lives here proclaim: “All I have is from your abundance; all I am is the reflection of your generosity”. May your name be glorified.
WHAT IS SALVATION? This text from Luke gives us a hint to what salvation is. It is not just saying prayers requesting help. All the ten people with leprosy prayed to Jesus for help. Salvation is not same as experiencing healing and miracles in our lives. All the ten people with leprosy experienced the miracle of healing in their lives. Salvation is the personal encounter with God in Jesus. Only one man who was a Samaritan desired to have that personal encounter with Jesus. Jesus tells him, “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.” Others were healed but this man was saved. His faith was expressed in his prayer of thanksgiving and surrender. In our prayer, do we seek solutions to our problems or for a personal encounter with Jesus – salvation?