19 Where are the other Nine

19 Where are the other Nine

Where are the other nine?

As Jesus 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.'

 

What were the lepers' thoughts as Jesus sent them away?   Did they expect to be healed (for there was no other reason to show them­selves to the priests) or did they think Jesus would do nothing?  When they were healed, only one went back to thank him.

'Your faith has made you well', Jesus tells him.  Of course all ten lepers had been healed, but the one who came back was truly made whole.  Responding in grati­tude to Jesus meant that he had been saved from the preoccupa­tion with himself and his own need that makes it impossible for God to work in our lives.

Gratitude is good for our spiri­tual health.  As we look outwards from ourselves to God and others, we become truly free, truly whole.  This is the challenge that Luke's Gospel presents: how do we respond to the Jesus of the mir­acles?  Will he see us again or shall we take what we feel we need and go our way?   Our healing is in our own hands.

The healed leper was a Samaritan, Luke tells us.  When we are established members of God's family, we can begin, without noticing it, to take his blessings for granted.  When we see prayers answered, do we take time to go back to God in thanks and praise? It should not need the example of a newcomer to remind us to con­tinue to respond in gratitude and service for all that God has done for us.

 

Reflection

Read John 6:26-27. What do you

want from Jesus?