Luke 17:11-19 Reflection: Jesus Heals Ten Lepers

A reading from the gospel according to Luke 17:11-19

11 Now it happened that on the way to Jerusalem he was travelling in the borderlands of Samaria and Galilee.
12 As he entered one of the villages, ten men suffering from a virulent skin-disease came to meet him. They stood some way off
13 and called to him, ‘Jesus! Master! Take pity on us.’
14 When he saw them he said, ‘Go and show yourselves to the priests.’ Now as they were going away they were cleansed.
15 Finding himself cured, one of them turned back praising God at the top of his voice
16 and threw himself prostrate at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. The man was a Samaritan.
17 This led Jesus to say, ‘Were not all ten made clean? The other nine, where are they?
18 It seems that no one has come back to give praise to God, except this foreigner.’
19 And he said to the man, ‘Stand up and go on your way. Your faith has saved you.’

Reflection: Faith and Gratitude

In the time of Jesus and even during our time, lepers were marginalized because they were considered unclean. So in the gospel reading above, they stood at a distance as they called out Jesus to have pity on them. Their prayer was answered but only one of them, out of ten, went back to Jesus to express gratitude for the gift of healing. And He was a Samaritan – a foreigner at that!

“Your faith has saved you”, Jesus told the healed Samaritan. This is not the first time that Jesus mentioned the saving power of faith. For Jesus and the evangelists, this bears repeating again and again. Faith is necessary for miracles to happen. “Let it be done for you as you believed”, He told the centurion also a foreigner.

Compassion, faith and gratitude are the themes in many of Luke’s stories. Jesus has shown compassion for the last, least and the last such as lepers. On the other hand, it is the poor, the unwanted and the marginalized people who are often drawn to Jesus. He is their hope for deliverance.

Like the ten lepers, we often received healing and other blessings every day but only a few of us know how to give thanks and glorify God for the good things He is doing for us. The irony is that some people think that their blessings were achieved through their own efforts and abilities. May we learn to be compassionate like Jesus and full of faith and gratefulness like the Samaritan leper.

Gospel Reading and Reflection
Gospel Reading and Reflection

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