Today, Jesus presents us with the ten lepers.
These are people who were rejected and isolated…. without any rights, without hope, without a future.
These people were abandoned by their families; everyone has turned their backs on them.
They don’t have a place in society. They are a kind of uncomfortable, human trash.
link to the readings : http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/101313.cfm
What surprises us, is that the one leper who was the most rejected, the most condemned- A Samaritan- is praised by Jesus as the one who is the most faithful, who’s faith gives him new life, whose faith made him well.
The Samaritan, the one in in the most unenviable situation, who is often thought of as the enemy, is seen here as the only one who recognizes in Jesus his Healer and his Redeemer.
Jesus shocked nearly everyone by praising the least one, the Samaritan leper, the only one who returned to give thanks.
And Jesus wants us to face the lepers in our own lives; those who are rejected, condemned, left to fend for themselves.
Those with whom we are afraid to converse, to meet, to share a meal, or to invite to our house; those whom we are not able to forgive because of who they are
Look around you. They are not here with us. They are alone. They are not here.
History is often repeated:
Just as the Jewish community 2000 years ago was closed to lepers, today, as a church community, we are closed to others as well. Who are they?
They are the people who are not welcome to sit in these pews with us.
They are the people of whom we are afraid.
They are people who suffer and yet love more than us.
They are people who – because of their rejection, their illness and their pain-are much closer to Jesus than we think.
They are people, who are not welcome in the church communities, or at church gatherings.
Because we reject them- we also reject Jesus.
Pray for God’s mercy my friends.
That God may open our hearts and minds and give us courage to reach out to those who are rejected.
In the church, in your neighborhood, in your school, in your work place, in your family.
They are precious to Christ. They need to become treasures for us too.