Titus 3:1-7; Psalm 23:1-6;Luke 17:11-19
32nd Week in Ordinary Time
“Your faith has saved you.” (Luke 17:19)
Desperate times call for desperate measures. And it’s hard to get more desperate than the ten men with leprosy in today’s Gospel reading. Their window of opportunity had just opened: Jesus, the miracle worker, was passing through their town. So they stretched their normal quarantine restrictions as much as they dared, and cried out: “Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!” (Luke 17:13).
Their disease didn’t stand a chance. These men supplied the faith, and Jesus supplied the healing power. All that was left was for them to show themselves to the priests, who could verify their recovery. Imagine how quickly they must have rushed to the priests once they realized they were healed. They couldn’t wait for the declaration that would allow them to rejoin their families and their community. Finally, their lives could return to normal!
This would be a heartwarming story of healing if it ended just there. But something else happened to turn it into a lesson about the Christian life as well. There was one among these men whose thoughts went beyond the promise of a return to normalcy. This fellow returned to Jesus, worshipping God for his gift of healing. He reasoned that anyone with the power to heal such an infirmity must be sent from God. He must have a special link to God— something that demanded his attention. And so his focus moved from the healing to the Healer.
Such a humble, grateful response moved Jesus deeply, and he declared that this man had received “salvation” in a way that the others had yet to experience. This one had entered into a new relationship with God, and as a result his inner life was changing to reflect the healing that he had received in his body.
This man’s story can shape our own prayer. Yes, we should all cry out: “Jesus, Master! Have pity on me” (Luke 17:13). But if we want to find the inner transformation, the “salvation” that this man experienced, we should spend just as much time praising and worshipping the Lord for all that he has already done for us. Then the kingdom of heaven will be ours!
“Jesus, I believe you can help me. But even more, I believe in you. I will join my voice with all the redeemed in humble praise to you.” ~WAU