“…There is nothing I shall want”
In today’s Entrance Antiphon we hear, “…O Lord…forget not the life of your poor ones…”. In the Collect we hear us, all of us, called “…your sons and daughters”. In the Reading we hear of the “…the kindness and generous love of God…”. In the Responsorial Psalm, the familiar 23rd psalm, we hear of all the loving, generous, and merciful gifts freely given of God. So wondrous are they that “there is nothing I shall want”.
In today’s gospel we hear of the ten lepers crying out to Jesus to show “pity” on them. They are the poorest of the poor, most unclean of the unclean. The untouchables. The pitiful ones. “…when he sees (saw) them” he mercifully, generously and lovingly heals all ten. Only one returns in gratitude. The one who “realizing he had been healed, returned…”. This one is the most unclean of the most unclean. The most pitiful, of the lot. He is a Samaritan, a foreigner, an outsider, not one of us. Yet, it is his “faith that (has) saved…” him.
What am I meant to hear in these readings? That depends. Like the lepers, I want to know that Jesus is with me, sees my pain and suffering. Again like the lepers, I want to be healed. I long for a change of heart. I want to be clean, to experience my own worth. I want to own that I am indeed who God says I am - one of God’s daughters/sons. I want to be an acceptable part of the community.
I hear that I am one of God’s poor ones, but also one of God’s daughters/sons. I am a rich beneficiary. Rich with God’s ever abundant gifts lovingly, generously and mercifully, freely given – to me. What more could I want?
All sons and daughters, brothers and sisters are not the same, even if raised in the same family, same environment and same faith tradition. Jesus is inviting me to see the pain and suffering of my brothers and sisters; the unclean, the outcast, the foreigner, the one who is not one of us. The one I intentionally exclude from my community. The one who does not worship as I do. The one who does not live the same life style as I do. Like Jesus, I am invited to see that one’s pain and suffering.
That can be difficult. Maybe my unrecognized, denied desire is for God to heal that one. To give that one a change of heart, a change of disposition.
The goodnews in today’s readings is that God continues to abundantly bless and gift me –in all my humanity. As well, God continues to love and bless the Samaritan, the other, the unacceptable, that one. God’s desire is to heal all of God’s children. God desires to soften my heart as I shun that one. God desires to soften the heart of that one who is shunned and lives the life of the outcast. God gifts, God sees, God heals, God loves and Love thirsts for me. God desires me to realize. God desires
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