November 27, 2008
Luke 17: 11-19
On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, they called out, saying, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" When he saw them, he said to them, "Go and show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were made clean. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. He prostrated himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus asked, "Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" Then he said to him, "Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well."
Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, Eternal Shepherd, you feed my soul with your body and blood. You give me life in the Eucharist. Grant me the grace to live my life in imitation of you.
Petition: Lord Jesus, I treasure the moments when I receive your body and blood. Grant me the grace to be able to come to Mass every day so I can receive life and grace from you.
1. Crazy for Christ
The people in the village heard that Jesus would be visiting. Imagine their curiosity about this Jesus Christ. As Jesus entered the town, the villagers left what they were doing and walked over to see him. Immediately ten lepers approached Jesus from a distance and petitioned him for his mercy and healing. What were the other villagers thinking? Perhaps they turned to each other and said, “These lepers are nuts! They’re calling this man ‘Master’ and acting as if they truly believe he can perform miracles!” Although the lepers might have seemed crazy to the crowd around them, they were reaching out in faith to the Holy One who could heal them. Their faith was rewarded. What vanity keeps us from seeking Christ for our own healing? We need to be like the lepers and approach Jesus with great faith and respect. “Master, have mercy on us!”
2. A Mighty Oak
All ten lepers followed Jesus’ instructions, and all ten were cured as they went. However, only one leper returned. He came back praising God, prostrating himself in front of Christ in thanksgiving. The villagers must have been astonished at the return of this man. He had walked away a leper, yet he returned healed of all leprosy. The faith of this man was real. He knew who had healed him, and his gratitude displayed the depth of his faith. There is a humorous tagline that says, “Today's mighty oak is just yesterday’s nut that held its ground.” One small nut can grow into a strong and enduring tree. This leper called out to Christ and held his ground. His reward was the renewal of his soul and an intimate experience of the mercy and love of God.
3. Running the Good Race
Although all ten lepers were healed, faith didn’t take root to the same extent in them all: only one returned to prostrate himself at Jesus’ feet. Is the “small acorn” of our faith still resting on hard ground? We need to make sure that our faith is carefully sown in the rich, deep soil of prayer and the Eucharist to ensure that it endures to the end. “I have fought the good fight to the end; I have run the race to the finish; I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).
Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, Eternal Shepherd, every time I petition you in prayer, you reach out and assist me. Thank you for your merciful love. Continue to strengthen and nourish my soul each time I receive your holy Body and Blood. Let the miracle of the Eucharist deepen the roots of my faith so that I will be a strong and enduring apostle.
Resolution: I will attend daily Mass and invite a friend to go with me.
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