Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
November 15, A.D. 2006
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Psalm 23:1b-3a, 3bc-4, 5, 6
A brief reflection on today's Scripture passages:
We need to really stop and examine what takes place in today’s gospel reading. Allow me to paraphrase. Ten lepers meet our Lord. They ask Jesus to take pity on them. He sends them away to be examined by a priest and heals them in the process. Only one returns, a Samaritan, to praise God and give thanks to Jesus.
Lepers were complete and total outcasts in Jesus' society. Most likely disfigured from their disease, they were also unclean according to the law. So, not only were they undesirable in a physical sense, but in a religious sense as well and they could not be forced further from mainstream society than they were.
The one that returned to give thanks was a Samaritan. Samaritans were unwelcome by the Jews and there were sometimes open hostilities between them. To a Jew a Samaritan was not worth noticing. A Samaritan leper was certainly something far less.
So, we have our Lord healing ten and receiving thanks and praise from only one–a Samaritan leper. What are we to learn from this? It might be good to ask what happened to the other nine. While the scripture does not say, it might be safe to assume that they went to the priest as Jesus instructed, as this was required under the law when one was cured of leprosy.
The law was not a bad thing; Jesus said he did not come to abolish the law. But the Samaritan saw the better part of the law, which was to love God with his whole being. Doing this requires praise, thanksgiving and gratitude, which is what the Samaritan returned to deliver. Did he follow the letter of the law? Not exactly, but he did the right and better thing.
Our lesson comes from this. God gives to us freely each day and our response should always be to love Him with all we have, pure and simple. Anything that gets in the way of us doing this prevents us from giving proper thanks and praise and makes us one of the nine who did not return.
- Don Claunch, SFO
(dlclaunch at bresnan dot net)
Wednesday of the Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time
St. Albert the Great, bishop, doctor of the Church
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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