Today’s two stories are about foreigners, Naaman and the anonymous Samaritan, who are faced with the living-death of leprosy. Both have a dramatic encounter with the living God of Israel and live to tell the world about it. The proud and arrogant Naaman reluctantly submits to bathing seven times in the Jordan and his death sentence becomes the promise of new life and a converted future of “sacrificing to no other god except the Lord in Israel.”
In the gospel, Jesus hears the pitiful plea of ten lepers who are also suffering the ravages of leprosy and are desperate for any kind of hope or healing. From a safe distance, Jesus simply tells them to show themselves to the priests. They sense in the simple and vague command of Jesus, a hint of some possible healing, and trustingly hurry onward hoping against hope. In their excited footsteps, they are amazed to sense their physical deformities gradually return to healthy skin as they gratefully accept the blessing of the priest and return to their families and a renewed outlook on life. Surely, they gave thanks to the God of Israel for their deliverance, but failed to return and give thanks to Jesus whose compassion authored the healing…except for one of the ten, an observant Samaritan, a foreigner, who once healed, returned to the divine healer seeking even more, the healing of his heart.
This Samaritan wanted a personal relationship with Jesus and he was warmly welcomed. What did they talk about? Did Jesus try to heal the rift and disdain between Samaritans and Jews, who worshiped the same God of Israel? Did Jesus teach him what loving the neighbor means in reality? What else?
Jesus is an all-inclusive God of healing, and so is our church! Are we?
Let us pray:
The Lord has revealed his saving power to the nations.
The Lord has made his salvation known.
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the Lord, all you lands, break into song, sing praise.(Ps 98)
Let it be Lord !
Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)