As we continue to reflect on Luke’s The Healing of Ten Lepers, here are few thoughts that may help us in our spiritual journey. If it does, give glory to God.
As He Continued His Journey to Jerusalem…
One of the aspects of Jesus that continues to inspire me is his compassion for others even in the midst of his own sorrow. Jesus, in spite of his own pain, sorrow, suffering and the excruciating death looming large in front of him (in Jerusalem) is still moved with compassion hearing the cry of the ten lepers and he responds. Mark of holiness is to put aside one’s own pain and be involved to alleviate the pain of the one who cries for help. Does our spirituality reflect this attitude of Jesus?
Ten Lepers Met Him
In spite of their cultural, religious differences and bitterness (one was a Samaritan); it was their physical illness (leprosy) and the psychological stigma that kept them together as a group. Caste, creed, color, and community were not the binding elements but solely it was their physical and psychological pain that kept them together as a group. Once they were healed, the Jews went their way and the Samaritan went his way. Doesn’t the same narrative unfold even in our times? Pain and sorrow brings families, societies, nations, and the world together to be involved and to better the conditions of those who suffer but once their situation improves, don’t we return to our little independent islands (for e.g., death a parent brings the family together but later the siblings return to their individual cells with no desire to be together). Other than those few and rare moments (like suffering and pain) that brings us together as one, the rest of our life tends to be segregated and divided and we stay away from each other. What prevents us from being together and relishing the beauty of relationships and love not just in moments of pain but always? Suffering and pain offer wonderful opportunities to be Christ like; to be involved and to act with compassion but the challenge is to live our Christ’s nature always and in all circumstances. It is not just a wishful thinking but possible if our lives are deeply spiritual: “The community of believers was of one heart and mind, … (Acts: 4:32).”
Go and Show Yourself …
Healing takes place not at the point of origin nor at the point of destination but along the way; in their journey. I believe first their spirits were healed (being accepted and loved unconditionally by Jesus) and spiritual healing leads to physical healing (faith playing a dominant role). When we desire healings, going on a ‘journey’ is of great spiritual help. The journey can be a spiritual pilgrimage, a spiritual retreat, giving oneself a desert day, entering the cave of one’s heart, daily moments of silence and solitude to be alone with the Alone, … are all places where God touches our souls and bodies. When was the last time we undertook a spiritual journey?
Your Faith has Saved You
Jesus does not touch the lepers. He looks into their hearts and sees their faith, he spoke and they believed in the power of his Word. The power of Jesus’ Word and their response in faith to his Word brings about their healing. It is not enough to hear God’s Word but we need to respond with faith. It is not that we lack faith but doubt and worry weakens our faith. Worry is looking at the future with a negative mind that everything is going to fall apart and doubt is the quality of the mind that refuses to accept and believe in the power of God’s Word that can change my present situation for good and for God’s glory. Yes, for us as believers, God is in control and all will be well in God’s time and in God’s divine plan. All that we can do is to surrender and wait with patience and hope.
Has None But this Foreigner Returned to Give Thanks to God?
Oh what a beautiful lesson for our life of holiness! Jesus does not take glory; he redirects Samaritan’s gratitude to God alone. Holiness calls for the extinct of ego. Jesus does not boast nor takes pride in what he did but shifts all attention to God alone. We are mere servants to carry out the orders of our Master. We are just instruments for God and God alone is the doer. Our goal is to fulfil our duties and responsibilities and not claim the fruit of our actions. All glory to God alone. “Let go and let God.”