Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Sunday Word

There is still no better way to prepare to celebrate Mass on Sunday than by reading, pondering and praying over the Scriptures we'll hear proclaimed at the liturgy. 

This Sunday is the 28th in Ordinary Time which brings us a familiar story from Saint Luke's Gospel. The cure of the 10 lepers and only one comes back to thank Jesus for his healing.

The first reading of the day is from the Second Book of Kings and it gives us the story of the prophet Elisha healing Naaman of his leprosy - and Naaman's request for "two mule-loads of earth." The second reading is from prison to Timothy. Paul speaks his faith with and eloquence enhanced by his incarceration.

As we read about the one who came back to fall at Jesus’ feet, don't you wonder what happened to the other nine. Surely, they were just as healed as this one.
Jesus said, “Go show yourselves to the priests,” as the law required them to do. As they went, they were healed. We are to assume that the nine went on to see the priests and be rejoined to the community that had exiled them in keeping with the law.

Should we fault them for that?

It is a story about gratitude more than healing isn’t it?
Lastly, they cry out to Jesus from a distance in the first meeting. They know they are not supposed to draw near to anyone because of their unclean condition. So they call out. And when Jesus sees them he gives them his direction. This is not healing at long distance. The power of God’s healing grace can reach over the space that divides people from us.