(2 Kg 5.14-17; 2 Tm 2.8-13; Lk 17.11-19)
I recall one bad year when I was walking to work, face despondent and downcast. I almost bumped into a young woman emerging from a shop. She did not rebuke me but instead offered a dazzling, joyous smile. My day lifted and problems that seemed gargantuan shrank back to size. I imagine that the two lepers, Naaman and the nameless Samaritan, had a very similar experience. Both outsiders, reaching across barriers of suspicion and distrust, they met utterly gratuitous and unexpected healing.
Jesus’ nine fellow countrymen may have cherished a sense of entitlement; in their presumption their thoughts had already turned to family reunions, resuming work once, and the desire to rush to spread their good news.
Many of us take so much for granted: living in mainly peaceful lands, with access to health services and varied food. What we fret about and recall with hurt and indignation are often episodes that we cannot change; they are dead and gone except in our troubled memories. When we live with a sense of deep gratitude, we can afford to forgive and move on, knowing that all these struggles will seem trivial when we meet God face to face.
If we have died with him
we shall also live with him;
if we persevere
we shall also reign with him.
(2 Tm 2.11-12)
28th Sunday year C1This Sunday