Today’s Gospel: Luke 17:11-19
Memorial of Saint Martin of Tours, Bishop
The ten lepers kept their distance. They knew that they were labeled as unclean and unfit to be close to anyone other than others who were lepers themselves. They shout at Jesus with great hope to be healed. What is Jesus’ response to their plea? He tells them to go show themselves to the priests. There might have been a moment of hesitation here as the lepers all looked at each other as if to say, “Really? Why do we have to go to anyone else? Is this not the miracle worker, Jesus? Can he not heal us right here and now?” Confusion might have entered their hearts but it is interesting that they did not protest or seem disappointed in Jesus’ response. No matter what, at least some of them in the group must have convinced the others. “C’mon, let’s just do what he says.” And they are rewarded. For before even reaching the destination commanded them, they are healed . . . on the way.
Namaan was a leper in the Old Testament, who complained about the way he was told healing would come. He, too, is convinced by a servant to just obey the command of Elisha the prophet. Though expecting a wave of the prophet’s hand over the spot, he reluctantly goes obediently to wash in the Jordan seven times. And he is healed. St. Martin of Tours did not recognize Jesus either in the presence of a beggar who needed his cloak. He simply obeyed his heart’s prompting to give what he had, and was later rewarded with the knowledge that he had provided for Christ Himself.
Perhaps we don’t like the way Jesus chooses to heal us or understand His presence among us. We don’t want to accept Jesus’ unique or challenging response to our cries out for pity in prayer. We fail to see Him in the events of our lives. At these moments is there someone special in our lives who consistently reminds us to have faith in His way or His presence? Am I open to responding to new ways as suggested or commanded?
Jesus, I want to trust you more and believe that Your way is better than mine. I am grateful for the people you have put in my life to encourage me to accept your response. They help me to see how good you are to me. Help me to recognize that often before I can even get to the “healing”, I am healed on the way! St. Martin of Tours, please pray for me!
We thank our friends at The Word Among Us for providing our gospel reflection team with copies of Abide In My Word 2015: Mass Readings at Your Fingertips. To pray the daily gospels with this wonderful resource, visit The Word Among Us.
Copyright 2015 Cynthia Ann Costello