Our homes are filled with many items of special interest to us, including picture albums which, for all time, capture albums which, for all time, capture the memorable moments in our lives. We cherish and treasure these special moments – baptisms, weddings, births, anniversaries, and vacations. We like to remember, and we hold dear all those moments that carry meaning for us.
In the Gospel, ten lepers were made clean, yet only one returned to express any gratitude. Jesus asks, ” where are the other nine?” To the one leper who returned Jesus tells him, ” your faith has saved you.” Nine walked off, accepting what had been done for them without so much as a backward glance. Leprosy physically eats away its victims, rendering them outcasts of society and doomed to be considered unclean. It has no respect for its victims who are sent off to live in isolation.
Today, we sometimes say that leprosy is synonymous with the demons in us. This spiritual leprosy slowly eats away at the spiritual life of each of us. It eats away at our very hearts rendering the hard and broken. The only difference between spiritual and physical leprosy is that one alters physical appearance causing one to hide or cover their disfigurement; the other causes inner disfigurement. We can continue walking through society with spiritual leprosy. Nevertheless, it continues to eat away at us until we have nothing left.
Is this spiritual leprosy spread by materialism, sexism, racism, or lack of respect for human life? Are we unable to relate in Christian ways to one another in response to God’s love? What is our leprosy? What are those things that harden our hearts? How does spiritual leprosy imprison us? What gratitude to God do we express? What keeps us from being grateful for the gifts God gives us? Are we numbered among the nine lepers of today’s Gospel? We have many questions to ask ourselves before we can declare that we no longer spiritually have this disease.
The Gospel ends with”go your way, your faith has been your salvation.” When we acknowledge everything we have received from God, we make ourselves worthy of the graces promised us and spiritual leprosy can spread no more!!
May God bless you all
Your brother in Christ