Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Tenth Leper: A Man in Love

Today's gospel reading was about Jesus' healing of ten lepers, and how only one of these lepers, a Samaritan, returned to thank Jesus.

In a reflection printed in the worship aid at the Spirit of St. Stephen's Catholic Community today, the thoughts of Patricia D. Sanchez and Barbara Brown Taylor on this story were shared. I found this reflection, which is actually an excerpt from a lengthier commentary by Sanchez, to be quite powerful. Perhaps you will too!

The grateful Samaritan – who was doubly doomed in the eyes of the Jews, first by his leprosy and then by the fact that he was a Samaritan – chose not to obey Jesus and did not go show himself to the priests. Rather, he returned to Jesus, glorified God and thanked him. For this, he was assured that his faith had saved him. As Barbara Brown Taylor has put it, nine behaved like good lepers, good Jews; only one, a double loser, behaved like a man in love."

Brown Taylor goes on to explain that she herself knows how to obey. She reads her Bible, says her prayers, pays her pledge like a steady, law-abiding disciple. After all, such behaviors have kept the great ship of the church afloat for more than two millennia. But, says Brown Taylor, "I do not know how to be in love. I am one of the nine, but I am intrigued by the tenth leper, whose passion is confounding.

– Patricia D. Sanchez
Excerpted from "Passionate Gratitude"
National Catholic Reporter
October 12, 2013

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Why Jesus Is My Man
Jesus: Path-blazer of Radical Transformation
Quote of the Day – June 18, 2010
"Who Is This Man?"
Teilhard de Chardin and the Heart of Jesus
The Sacred Heart: "Mystical Symbol of Love"
The Triumph of Love: An Easter Reflection
Joy: The Most Infallible Sign of God’s Presence
Prayer of the Week – March 27, 2011

Image: "Ten Lepers" by James Christensen.

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