The Leper's Leap
As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem,
he traveled through Samaria and Galilee.
As he was entering a village, ten lepers met him.
They stood at a distance from him and raised their voices, saying,
"Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!"
And when he saw them, he said,
"Go show yourselves to the priests."
As they were going they were cleansed.
And one of them, realizing he had been healed,
returned, glorifying God in a loud voice;
and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him.
He was a Samaritan.
Jesus said in reply,
"Ten were cleansed, were they not?
Where are the other nine?
Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?"
Then he said to him, "Stand up and go;
your faith has saved you."
The Leper's Leap
What do you do when your entire life has changed? It happens for Naaman in the first reading, and it happens for the lepers in the Gospel. I am fascinated how only one was filled with gratitude and returned to praise Jesus. What leprosy has Jesus taken away from you? Have you returned to give him thanks?
We have to learn to be engaging and excited for the Gospel. When is the last time that you felt truly excited about the Gospel? When did you feel like you had to share it with someone? Take the leap.
As long as the followers of the Gospel are not excited, we will never give the witness necessary to bring others into the ranks of believers. It is up to us to take the leap.
To evangelize is to bring others to the happy Good News of the Gospel. We were all hanging by a thread. Original sin, perpetrated by our first parents, lost for us the reward of Heaven. But now, thanks to the redemptive sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross, we are able to give witness.
Where does this come from? From an experience with the Risen Christ, like what the tenth leper made with Jesus in today's Gospel. The problem is that many of us do not feel saved. We do not perceive the extreme danger from which God has saved us. Jesus saves us from evil so that we can have new life in him.
There is so much in our modern world that needs the light of the Gospel.
Our families need the Gospel. So many families are confused. New family configurations and the proliferation of confusing family values have hurt what should be the core of any healthy society. Even if we are from broken families, we should rise up with the values of the Gospel to help heal a broken world.
Our youth need the Gospel. Imagine how confusing it is to grow up nowadays, when all of the moral lines have been blurred, when people seem comfortable and even happy in their sin. It is up to us to shed the light of the Gospel on their lives and show them the joy that only the truth of Jesus Christ can bring.
We all need the Gospel. It is easy to live life, thinking that we are OK and are doing OK. But, life without the Gospel will never satisfy us completely. We need the truth of the Gospel to dispel the darkness from our hearts and lead us into the light.
Let us take the Leper's Leap and evangelize this world in which we live.