Jesus cleanses 10 lepers but offers eternal salvation only to one grateful leper. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Religion so he can thank Jesus for his blessing by joyfully practicing Catholicism and by seeking the Fruits of Faithfulness and Kindness so he can seek healing from Jesus for himself or others.
32nd Week in Ordinary Time – Wednesday – Lk 17:11-19
After warning the disciples of the damnation of those who corrupt others and commanding them to humbly do their duty, Jesus demonstrates His Divine Mercy by miraculously healing The Ten Lepers. Leprosy was a devastating illness (now curable) which also made a man “unclean” by Jewish law (Lev 13-14); disfigured and contagious, lepers were outcasts, forced to live outside of villages in isolated camps, and shut out of the necessary religious life of Israel.
Though neighbors with common Jewish blood, Samaritans and Jews despised and shunned each other. But in the suffering of leprosy, one Samaritan man banded together with nine Jewish men. Begging to Jesus for mercy from a distance as required by Jewish law, Jesus tells them, to “show yourselves to the priests”, an act also required by Jewish law to confirm healing and the elimination of contagion (Lev 14), and they are healed. Jesus prefigures the Sacrament of Penance which returns the sinner back into full communion with the Body of Christ, just as cleansed lepers returned into Jewish society.
But only the Samaritan returns to Jesus, joyfully praising God and falling prostrate at His feet. Jesus confirms His Divinity as the Samaritan, gives “praise to God”, and He publicly rebukes the nine Jews who were also miraculously cured of leprosy but have failed to show any gratitude to Him. Previewing His salvation to all men including Jews and Gentiles (Samaritans), Jesus says, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.” While Jesus healed the bodies of the ten lepers, only the Samaritan, whose faith is confirmed by his grateful adoration of Jesus, is blessed with the salvation of his soul (“your faith has made you well”).
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be stunned by Jesus, the Divine Priest, as He miraculously heals and forgives: Son of God, Jesus hears and responds to those who cry out to Him in anguish; with Divine Power, Jesus miraculously cures the horrific incurable scourge of leprosy; Divine Priest, Jesus cleanses the nine Jewish lepers, allowing them to be returned to community and religious life, and both heals the body and forgives the sins of the Samaritan leper; perfection of Justice, Jesus demands that men live with Gratitude and proper Worship (both parts of Justice).
Thank Jesus by joyfully practicing Catholicism
Realize: Jesus rebukes the grave injustice of the nine healed lepers who failed to return and praise Him; every Catholic man has been richly blessed by Jesus and should demonstrate justice by rightly giving Him thanks and praise.
Believe: Reflect upon the Prayer of Praise (CCC 2639-2643, 2649).
Pray: Jesus, Divine Priest, help me build the Virtue of Religion (a part of Justice) so I have an overwhelming gratitude to You for giving me life, healing me of sin, and offering me eternal salvation, and I justly give You thanks and praise by praying with joy and discipline, receiving the Sacraments, reading Scripture, and through many acts of devotion in my daily life.
Go to Jesus and ask for healing
Realize: As Jesus heals both the leprosy and the soul of the Grateful Leper, Jesus can heal every Catholic man of mental, physical, and spiritual disease.
Believe: Reflect upon Christ the Divine Physician (CCC 1481, 1484, 1503-1510, 1848) .
Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Fruits of Faithfulness and Kindness so I trust in Christ’s power and ask for Him to heal me, and I faithfully pray and kindly help those who are suffering and need Christ’s healing; Lord, guide me to receive or bring someone in need to Your Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.