An Unfinished Miracle

An Unfinished Miracle by Fr. Norm Tanck, CSB Ten lepers come to Jesus seeking a cure. “Jesus, have mercy on us!”, they cry out. Jesus hears their prayer and tells them to go to the priests who had the authority to declare them cured. But the priests also had the power to restore them to the community from which their disease alienated them. Nine were cured and healed, one however, a Samaritan, was cured of his illness but not healed of what alienated him from others. He no longer had leprosy, but was still and would always be a Samaritan, hated and alienated because of his ethnicity and religious beliefs. I suppose that he returned to thank Jesus for the cure, but wonder if he came back to Jesus also because he had nowhere else to go, no one else to share his joy with and no one who would welcome him as a person, not a category, a disease or stereotype. He came back with gratitude but also with faith that Jesus would love and accept him as a person, as a brother, a child of God. In many ways, this is an unfinished miracle, because there needs to be healing in the hearts of those who still reject the Samaritan because he was a Samaritan. Like the healing of the 10 lepers, who recognize and own their leprosy, this healing begins by recognizing the prejudices and fears, attitudes and hatreds that cause people to be excluded and alienated from us because of their nationality or ethnicity, the colour of their skin or the language they speak, by their sexuality or gender orientation, or by what they believe or don’t believe. Today’s readings challenge us to ask along with the lepers, “Jesus, have mercy on us”. Help us, Jesus, to see others as you do, sons and daughters of God, brothers and sisters to each other. Sunday’s Readings: 2 Kings 5.14-17 Psalm 98 2 Timothy 2.8-13 Luke 17.11-19