Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, Virgin
Wisdom 6:1-11; Psalm 82:3-4, 6-7;Luke 17:11-19
Go show yourselves to the priests. (Luke 17:14)
Eighteenth-century author Jonathan Swift once said that vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others. This is a definition that St. Luke might have appreciated. Just look at how important sight is in today’s Gospel reading of the ten lepers. First, the men must have seen Jesus walking toward the village and, realizing who he was, cried out to him for help. At that moment, Jesus “saw them” (Luke 17:14). This is probably a significant choice of words, considering that these lepers had to live out of sight—out on the periphery of society. But they managed to attract Jesus’ attention and his loving gaze.
Essentially, Jesus tells them, “Go let the priests see what has happened to you” (Luke 17:14). Do you think that when the priests saw the miraculous healings, their spiritual eyes were opened to see Jesus as the Son of God? We don’t know; Luke doesn’t say. But we do know that only one of the lepers, “realizing he had been healed” (17:15), turned back to thank Jesus. What’s interesting is that the Greek word for realizing here is the same word for seeing. He saw something the others didn’t: his need to worship and thank God for this miracle. And so he knelt at Jesus’ feet and poured out words of gratitude and praise. His seeing propelled him to worship.
Did you know that you have the chance to “see” God’s presence every time you go to Mass? And not just at the moment of consecration but throughout the liturgy. He is in the praise of the congregation. He is in the Scripture readings. He is in the hearts of your fellow parishioners. And in a very special way, he is with you when you receive the Eucharist.
At Mass this Sunday, ask the Lord to open your eyes so that you can see him. Let him show you how much he loves you. Gaze at the crucifix, and see how he has offered himself up for you. Like the one leper who was cured, let your seeing move you to worship Jesus with a heart overflowing with thanksgiving.
“Lord, thank you that I have caught your loving gaze and that you have cleansed me with your love. Open my eyes to see your presence with me today.”~WAU