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“Then he said to him, ‘Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.'”
Healed and Restored (Solar Sunday)
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Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” (Lk 17:17-18)
Leprosy was a lonely way to die. Those pronounced “unclean” by the priest had to spend the rest of their lives echoing that proclamation everywhere they went. Unclean, unclean, stay away from me, I am unclean. Can you even imagine?
While leprosy has disappeared from most places on the earth, there are still many people suffering from labels that would drive them away from community. Some people are to be feared because of where they are from or their race or religion.
When Jesus heals a man of the dreaded disease of leprosy in this gospel reading, the man still suffers from a label that kept him away from the community of faith. He was from the wrong place. He worshiped the wrong way. He was a threat. He was a Samaritan, an “other“.
Even so, this man threw himself at the feet of Jesus in gratitude. And what Jesus says next was meant for all of us to hear.
Questions to Ponder or Discuss
1. What do you think would be the worst part of having a disease like leprosy?
2. How can the church help lonely people find community?
3. How can a hospital established and sustained by the church, in a poor and war torn place like Liberia, bring so much more than physical healing to people?
Take a moment to read this gospel passage again. Ask yourself how many times you are the one who returns to give thanks to God. Look for at least one opportunity this week to show your gratitude by reaching out to someone else. A kind word, a small gesture, a helping hand. And then hear Jesus say, “…get up and go on your way, your faith has made you well.” (Lk 17:19)
See you in church!