This Sunday´s homily is on Luke 17:11-19. The keyword is loved.
Do you know that all of us have leprosy? Yes, all of us in a deep sense are lepers. Leprosy is a dreadful disease that disfigures our physical body, because of that we become totally isolated. But do you know that there is more dreadful disease than leprosy? Sin makes us unclean because we become separate from God. Sin disfigures and destroys not our physical life but our eternal life. Jesus saw us as lepers from a distance and he wasn’t ashamed to approach us. Much more, in order to cure us he took our leprosy, our sins upon himself, becoming a leper on the cross, totally disfigured for us. He healed our leprosy and led us from a life of seclusion to a life of freedom. He valued us and gave us back our lost dignity.
In our own time many “lepers” exist: those who are excluded and segregated in our society, those who are not given much attention, those that are rejected or are considered inferior by the majority, those who are deprived of their freedom and human rights. We can cure and alleviate those who are suffering by becoming healers of this modern version of leprosy: those who are “marginalized”. We cannot just close our eyes and hearts to their plight.
Only one of the lepers who were cured came back to thank Jesus. How can we give him back some of that immense love that led him to give his life for us? Our mission involves curing the greatest leprosy of today by helping sinners to come back to God. Mission is a matter of gratitude. In fact Jesus said to the one who was cured: get up and go and tell people who it is that has made you well. All of us have been cured and have been forgiven. God wants everyone to be saved and he has destined all his children to share in his divine and eternal life. God never takes back His gift of life. The Father sent Jesus his Son, the first missionary, not to condemn us but to save us. Today we are the missionaries Jesus wants to send to our world. Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of missionary vigour.
Fr Dario SEMD, October 13th, 2019