Today’s Gospel reading from the Evangelist Luke 17:12-19 forces us to examine ourselves. The brief passage relates the story of the ten lepers who are healed by the Lord Jesus Christ at their fervent request. Sadly, only one of them returns to thank his healer. Jesus asks, rhetorically, where the other nine lepers who were healed are.
Of note is the fact that the ten men who were severely ill suffered from an illness separated them from their homes and families. The second notable detail opens the reading in verse 12 where all the lepers recognize Jesus as their Master who can offer them healing. They approach Him calling out: “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” Showing that they recognized Him as a source of goodness and compassion for their lives.
Interestingly, unlike other healings that Jesus performed for people, in this case the Lord sends the ten ill men to show themselves to the priests. This would have been a requirement for them as people suffering from leprosy were deemed religiously unclean in addition to being social outcasts. However, they are all healed as they head to show themselves to the priests.
Unfortunately only one of them, a foreigner to the people of Israel, returns filled with thanksgiving and gratitude to the Lord Jesus the source and instrument of his healing.
We often forget where the source of good in our lives lies! Once all goes well in our lives we seem to easily forget both our previous suffering as well as how fervently we prayed asking for God’s mercy on us. Examining our lives we easily find times when we have acted like the ungrateful nine lepers rather than the one who returned. May we be blessed to mindfully remember to be thankful for the mercy and blessings of our Lord Jesus and Master who has mercy on us.