Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the words of the Lord in the Scriptures telling us about the love and mercy which God has shown to each and every one of us, because of His great love and boundless mercy. This was shown first in our Gospel passage, when the Lord encountered ten lepers during His journey, all of whom begged for His mercy and love, to heal them from their leprosy.
In order to understand and appreciate fully the significance of this encounter, first of all, we must realise that leprosy was something that all of the Israelites dreaded, for someone who suffered or contracted leprosy was someone who would immediately become a pariah and outcast from the community of the people. According to the laws of Moses, as written in the Book of Leviticus, those who suffered from leprosy must stay outside the community until the time when they were completely healed.
It was likely that this leprosy is a contagious version of the leprosy that we know today, or might be even a different disease altogether. And it might have been quite dangerous that the law prescribed such a radical means to prevent the disease from spreading to the rest of the population. For if the disease were to spread, it would cause great havoc and suffering among the rest of population, and this would be undesirable to the people and their leaders.
However, the intention of the laws given to Moses was misunderstood by the people as they did not see it as a means to eventually reconcile the afflicted person back to the society, but instead, they saw it as a punishment and condemnation for the person. And this attitude remained in the hearts and minds of the people, who looked upon themselves with pride and haughtiness, thinking that they were just and righteous, while others who were afflicted, these were considered as unworthy and wicked.
But brothers and sisters in Christ, first and foremost we must always remember that each and every one of us are sinners, and sin is an even more deadly and contagious disease than leprosy. For leprosy only can afflict the flesh and the body, and it cannot attack the mind, the heart and the soul. On the other hand, sin attacks at the very root of our being, corrupting the soul and our whole being.
And because of this, that is why all of us have also been exiled, by our own disobedience and refusal to listen to the Lord, from the bliss and happiness destined for us in the garden of Eden. We mankind were not created to suffer and to die, which are all caused by our sins. Rather, God intended for each one of us to enjoy forever the fullness of His love and care, and to rejoice with Him in heavenly glory.
We chose, on our own accord, to disobey God and landed ourselves in this predicament. However, God still loves each and every one of us, that despite of our disobedience, stubbornness and refusal to listen to Him, He still gives us chances after chances, opportunities one after another, meant to provide us with the best chance to seek redemption and forgiveness, and become worthy once again to share in the eternal happiness and glory with Him.
Unfortunately, many of us chose to adopt the attitude of the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, who saw themselves as righteous and as more pious and worthy than the other people, and looked down severely on all those who were considered to be dirty, wicked and unworthy, such as tax collectors, prostitutes and also those with diseases especially the lepers.
Instead, we should be like the lepers, recognising that each and every one of us are sinners, and therefore are unworthy of God caused by our sins. This is a reality that we must accept and appreciate in our lives, and this will allow us to open our hearts and minds to make the effort to seek the Lord, and for us to reach out to Him asking for His forgiveness and grace. That is how we will receive forgiveness and justification in God.
And let us also also be thankful of what the Lord has done for us. He is willing to forgive us, to heal us from the woundedness of our sins, from the imperfections and corruptions that have blemished us. He has loved us so much that He was willing to endure the burden of the cross, in order to save us and to reconcile us to Himself. Let us therefore be like the Samaritan leper, who recognised that he has been healed by the Lord Jesus, and thank the Lord for all that He has done for us.
May the Lord bless us all, and may He continue to love us and guide us in the right path. May He empower us to act justly and righteously, turning away from our sins and all the wickedness we have committed in life thus far. May the Lord be with us always, now and forevermore. Amen.