Wednesday of the Thirty-Second Week in Ordinary Time
From the miracles to the conversion
As he continued his journey to Jerusalem, he traveled through Samaria and Galilee. As he was entering a village, ten lepers met (him). They stood at a distance from him and raised their voice, saying, “Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!” And when he saw them, he said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” As they were going they were cleansed. And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. He was a Samaritan. Jesus said in reply, “Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?” Then he said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.” Lk 17,11-19
According to the law of Moses, the priests had to examine the wounds of those suspected of leprosy and to declare them unclean. If someone was healed, he would have had to recur to the priest, who, founding that the healing has occurred, would had allowed him to enter again in the social contexts. These ten lepers have show a good faith in Jesus, not because they ask the miracle of the healing, but because their way towards the priest being not yet healed from the leprosy. It is the blind faith of those who are desperate, who refer to the Lord as the last and only hope and this faith is rewarded: all the ten are cleansed along the road. But one thing is the healing of the body and a much bigger act is the salvation of the whole person. This is obtained only by the samaritan, the only one who comes back to thank Jesus: “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you”. The miracles are powerful and undeniable signs that Jesus is the Lord, but who is satisfied only with their immediate effects does not grasp in depth the main message: the opportunity to repent and to start a new life. The miracle is a meeting point which the Lord wants to have with us, as when he was waiting for the samaritan woman at the well or when he allowed Peter the miraculous catch of the fish. Peter could have gone to the market to sell the fish, he could have pocketed a large sum of money, but all would have been over there. Instead, he captures in depth the meaning of that miracle and begins his second life, the real one. Those many times we asked the Lord to intervene in our history and in that of others to resolve a desperate situation and we saw the miracles, did we then convert us? Jesus Christ has become the only Lord of our life or, together with him, we have preserved all the other idols which we had before, starting with the money? This is the question which arises from the page of the today’s gospel and to which, in the secret of the prayer, we must respond.