TWENTY-EIGHTH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR
9 October 2016
As is so often the case, it’s the tiniest things that are said or left unsaid in the gospels
that sometimes gives us a clue to the depth of the message.
Ten lepers ask Jesus for healing.
They are sent away by Jesus and as they are on their way to the priests–what happens?
They are “cleansed.”
And then, one of them turns around, and goes back to Jesus.
He gives thanks. He’s the hero.
Now that’s a nice story. It reminds us to be grateful right?
But there is more.
We’re told, in the quietest of ways, what makes the man grateful.
Did you catch that?
He realizes he has been cleansed.
Well you think, “Dah, of course that’s what would make him grateful.”
Don’t you want to know why the others didn’t “realize” they were cleansed?
Were they so tied up in their own misery, they couldn’t see it?
Were they so bitter, they couldn’t see it?
Were they so unwilling to see even the life they had as pure gift,
that they couldn’t see it?
So that leads to the real question of the week for us: what are we not realizing?
What miracles have we missed?
What cleansing or healing or life that we’ve been given, have we refused to see?
What bitterness keeps us from realizing what good things we’ve been given?
In his closing statement to the healed leper who returns Jesus says:
“Your faith has saved you.”
It’s the man’s faith that helps him “realize” he has been healed.
Today our faith challenges us I think,
Despite all of our sorrows, to see how much good we have already received.
That even if our lives ended today, we have already been given so much,
Known so much good, that we could give thanks in spite of our pain.
Today, on your way home, I hope you “realize” what you have been given.
And that by the time you actually get home, you have given thanks.