St. Edmund Campion Parish, Maidenhead

28th Sunday, Year C (09 Oct 2016)

The Ten Lepers

Jesus cures ten lepers. One of them, seeing himself cured, turns back to Jesus praising God and throws himself at Jesus' feet.

Jesus asks: "where are the other nine?" We can see here that there is something to learn. Some would say that it is important to give thanks when we receive something. Others would say that the one coming back is a Samaritan and that therefore it doesn't matter if you belong to a group with a good reputation or not, but if you do the right thing or not. But I think that the real point here is another one. The point is to realise something, or rather someone, behind the fact.

In fact, Jesus doesn't praise the leper because he is well educated, because he gives thanks or because he is behaving correctly. Jesus says: "your faith has saved you". Jesus praises him for his faith. What is faith? Faith is a certainty that sweeps away fears, insecurities. Faith is recognising a presence that changes our own life. Faith is the surprise of seeing a human presence but experiencing a unique, exceptional thing: finally something that matches the deep longing for happiness, beauty, justice, goodness and truth. Faith is the recognition of the divine in something human.

In fact the description of the vividness of the leper coming back shows his joy of having found something completely unexpected, even more than his own health. He has discovered that the meaning of life is there, in front of him. The ultimative aha experience. What everyone is looking for, God, the meaning of life, is there, that mysterious man.

Lord, give me this great gift again in my life. Give me again the experience of seeing you in the testimony of the life of someone. Give me the expressiveness of the leper and his enthusiasm to proclaim you and to follow you in front of others.