BY: Fr. Jb Mbbah-Offor



2 5:14-17, 2 Tim 2:8-13, Lk 17:11-19

Today, the Church presents to us the Gospel of Luke 17:11-19 which talks about the healing of ten lepers. Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem, passing along the border between Samaria and Galilee and as He entered a village , ten lepers came to meet Him. They called him from a distance, “Jesus, master, have mercy on us! Jesus then told them to go and show themselves to the priests. As they went they were healed. Then, one of them who was a Samaritan, a stranger and a pagan in the sight of the Jews turned back praising God and he fell at Jesus’ feet thanking Him.

Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary defines leprosy as an infectious disease that damages a person’s nerves and skin. It’s a contagious disease that affects the skin. A leper is a person who has leprosy. In Jewish tradition, those suffering leprosy were segregated and they live outside towns and villages. The lepers in Israel were excommunicated and banished to live alone.

In the history of the Bible only two people had been cured of leprosy: Miriam and Naaman. Miriam had leprosy for seven days as a punishment for speaking against the leadership of Moses (Numbers 12:9-15). Naaman who was the general of the army of Aram, a heathen from Damascus (2 kings 5) was healed of leprosy when he obeyed Elisha’s instruction to wash seven times in River Jordan.

The lepers cried to Jesus for mercy. Jesus had mercy on them. Their prayers for mercy were answered. Prayer is effective, especially when we pray as a family or as a community. At the introductory part of the mass, we recite the prayer of the lepers ( kyrie eleison – Lord have mercy). It’s a prayer of worthy petition made to God, asking for His mercy. Jesus listened to the prayers of the lepers and said to them, go and show yourselves to the priests. As they were going, they were healed. The verb ” show” means to allow or cause something to be visible.

According to the Jewish law, only priests can declare a person healed of leprosy, that’s why Jesus told them to go and show themselves to the priests. They were healed of leprosy. One of them a Samaritan saw that he was healed came back and praised God for his mercy in healing him.

The word “praise” means to express approval of, express admiration for, honour, extol. Many people who seem to believe in God never show gratitude. Giving thanks to God is very important as children of God. Jesus was delighted by the thanksgiving of the Samaritan but was unhappy because of the absence of the other nine ex- lepers.

We are like lepers before God. We need to throw ourselves before God for mercy. He knows our problems, pains and sorrows. The lepers cried to Jesus for mercy, they received God’s mercy, one thanked Jesus, others did not. Sometimes we forget to thank God for His blessings, favours on us. God expects us to show gratitude to Him. We should always thank God for life, health, peace, protection, favour, miracle, healing etc.God deserves our thanks. Our lives should be continual acts of thanksgiving to God.

We should not forget those that have helped us so far. In our gratitude, we must remember those who make our lives comfortable such as our parents, teachers, siblings, and our loved ones. Let’s not be ungrateful people. Thanksgiving is necessary for more blessings.
Happy Sunday!

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