Reflection on the Grateful Samaritan, Gospel of Luke, Chapter 17, Verses 11-19

” On his way to Jerusalem, Jesus went along the border between Samaria and Galilee.  As he was going into a village, ten men with leprosy came toward him. They stood at a distance and shouted, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”

The Ten LepersJesus looked at them and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” On their way they were healed. When one of them discovered that he was healed, he came back, shouting praises to God. He bowed down at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. The man was from the country of Samaria. Jesus asked, “Weren’t ten men healed? Where are the other nine? Why was this foreigner the only one who came back to thank God?” Then Jesus told the man, “You may get up and go. Your faith has made you well.”  (Luke 17: 11-19 CEV)

From Commentary on Luke, Homilies 113-16 by St.Cyril of Alexandria:

“Falling into a thankless forgetfulness, the nine lepers that were Jews did not return to give glory to God. By this, he shows that Israel was hard of heart and utterly unthankful. The stranger, a Samaritan, was of a foreign race brought from Assyria… [He was] grateful but the Jews, even when they benefited, were ungrateful.”

The reflections of a servant:

I live under the New Covenant in the New Israel, yet I hide my light beneath a basket and live as one ashamed of Jesus Christ and His message.

I meet you in truth at the Liturgy in the Eucharist, saying “I believe, O Lord, and I confess that you are truly the Christ, the Son of the living God, who did come into the world to save sinners, of whom I am first” and, in your love, I am healed. Where do I show my gratitude? What more could I expect before my actions reflected my thankfulness?

It is those who deny the Presence in the Eucharist and reject the apostolic succession who more often know your Scripture by heart, while I am wilfully ignorant. It is those who deny the Trinity that are more often willing to suffer scorn as they express their teachings, while I remain mute. It is those who corrupt your Word by elevating another gospel beside it who send their sons and daughters as missionaries, while mine pursue frivolities.

My Lord God, I confess that I share the hard heart and the cold ingratitude of the nine, rather than the outspoken gratefulness of the Samaritan. Through the fire of your Holy Spirit, I beg you to melt my cold heart! Help me cooperate with Your freely-given grace in order to learn to thank you and praise you all through the day.

Bless all those who give thanks for the gift of your Son, Jesus, and all those who love the beauty of your Church.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the first among sinners. Amen.