Gospel: Lk 17:11-19
On the way to Jerusalem, Jesus passed through Samaria and Galilee, and as he entered a village, ten lepers came to meet him. Keeping their distance, they called to him, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” Jesus said to them, “Go, and show yourselves to the priests.” Then, as they went on their way, they found they were cured. One of them, as soon as he saw that he was cleansed, turned back, praising God in a loud voice; and throwing himself on his face before Jesus, he gave him thanks. This man was a Samaritan. Then Jesus asked him, “Were not all ten healed? Where are the other nine? Did none of them decide to return and give praise to God, but this foreigner?” And Jesus said to him, “Stand up and go your way; your faith has saved you.”
After the healing of the ten lepers, the focus narrows to one of the ten, who alone turns back glorifying God and prostrating himself at Jesus’ feet thanking him. Only after he prostrates himself in thanksgiving do we learn that the one who has turned back in this borderland is a Samaritan. Samaritans were the unwelcome outsiders, of Jesus’ day, and we can think about unwanted refugees or overseas contract workers today. These unappealingly different and unwelcome outsiders, along with outsiders, generally, are received positively by Jesus. The story of the grateful Samaritan offers us another image of who and what matters to Jesus and should, therefore, matter to us. Cleansing of lepers is an identifying marker for Jesus’ mission in 7:22: “Go and tell John… the lepers are cleansed.” There is no doubt something to be understood here about the people who live on the margins of our communities, who are treated as invisible or unwanted because of how they look or who they are or where they come from. Jesus clearly notices and loves them and calls us to do the same.
© Copyright Bible Diary 2018