When I pray with this passage, I notice the way Jesus emphasizes action: “go, show yourselves … stand up and go.” The lepers are cleansed while they’re in the act of “going.”
While we know we don’t earn our way to salvation, (Jesus has already done that for us), it seems that the lepers are expected to do something, even if it’s just being grateful. Jesus offers healing because they approach him in faith, calling him “master” and asking for what they need. “Your faith has saved you.”
But Jesus is disappointed in their lack of gratitude. Even a Samaritan – an outsider, a foreigner – has given thanks. The others didn’t bother. Do we Christians, the “insiders” who should know better, give Jesus the proper thanks for his cleansing, healing presence in our lives?
Do we live our lives as an active response to God’s continuous love for us?
—Rita Zyber is RCIA and Confirmation Coordinator at St. Mary Student Parish at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI.