The Grateful One in Ten
“We are ten lepers, with scars and wounds—and hope for your healing touch. From our souls’ depths we raise our voices to you. ‘Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!’ As we glimpse the grace you pour upon us, we thank you.” (Anne Osdieck, https://liturgy.slu.edu/28OrdC101319/prayerpathmain.html)
I am so grateful to Anne for reminding me and us that at one time or another, we are all lepers. We can probably all name people we know, perhaps we ourselves have been “lepers” or the untouchables, shunned and avoided! Maybe it was when we were severely depressed. Maybe we were so angry, disgruntled and hard to be with. Maybe we were divorced and people took sides and blamed us. Maybe arguments over family inheritance or loyalties to family members led to shunning.
And then someone heard our cry (even the silent ones) and reached out and touched. Perhaps the healing came from a knowing glance, a tender look and a smile. Perhaps it was sitting in silence, accompanying, “sitting with” that provided a healing. Perhaps it was simple words of encouragement that give hope.
The Gospel reading focuses on the one in ten who came back and expressed gratitude—who gave thanks! Today we reflect on the times when we have “cried out for help,” received healing and expressed thanks. We approach the Eucharist each Sunday as “wounded” or “scarred” in need of healing, hoping for that touch, that glance, that person next to us who names us at the Greeting of Peace. And we say “Thank You.” That is the meaning of Eucharist—thanksgiving! And we the participants in this sacred liturgy are all the Body of Christ, reaching out and touching. And grace is poured upon us, individually and as a community, as a parish and as world Church.