Wednesday of the 32nd Week of the Year

Luke 17:11-19

The Cleansing of the Ten Lepers

She is a prisoner – a modern day outcast. Her crime? She was convicted of killing her own son. Does she have regret? Is she guilt-stricken and desolate? No! She writes about nothing else but gratitude to God for even in prison she continued to develop a very intimate relationship with Jesus. She learned to forgive her accusers – her own brother and his wife who framed her up and accused her of parricide all because of envy. Resenting her success in business, did all he could to get rid of her. Yet even behind bar she chose to be free in her choice.

On Valentine’s Day she decided to call her brother from prison. Hearing his voice after six long years of “incarceration and shedding ocean of tears,” she extended the hand of forgiveness. At last, even if the Supreme Court did not acquit her she won over her brother together with his wife and children.

By her courage to be a disciple of Christ, she was able to bring two more “lepers” to the Lord to be healed. For the next day, her brother and his wife and kids came to visit her in prison for the first time. In her letter to one of her friends she said, “I wrote to witness to you God’s healing power. He is alive and really works for unity and peace among his children. Your prayers and united efforts of the Adoration Sisters gave full realization of the victory of God’s love.” (SSpSAP Bible Diary 2002)


One day, I was talking to a couple who underwent adversaries in their lives for the past years. The husband’s business suffered bankruptcy. The wife lost her job because the company she was connected with closed down. Their children stopped going to school for they could not afford to pay the tuition fees. They told me that in those moments you come to know who your true friends are. Few people supported them all the way in their struggles.

The gospel of today teaches that in times of adversity, prejudices are forgotten and barriers torn down. History tells us that Jews and Samaritans had no dealings with one another. They were hostile to one another every time their paths crossed. In today’s gospel we see a very rare moment – a Samaritan leper in the company of nine Jewish lepers.

It must have been a touching scene. They needed mercy more than anything else. Mercy literally means “sorrowful at heart.” Mercy moves the individual to provide remedy to the suffering experienced by the another person. A merciful human being is not only contented with empathizing with the other but determined to dispel that misery.

The leper’s act of contrition is a realization that they need healing, not just physical but spiritual. Their request for mercy is a plea for pardon and release from the bondage of suffering. Jesus never fails to give mercy to those individual who asks him with faith and contrition.

Transformation does not end in healing but flows into gratitude to God. The gratefulness we show to God is related to grace which means “the release of loveliness.” We are able to express our thanksgiving because we appreciate God’s goodness to us. Ingratitude is an incomplete acceptance of the gift we received from the mercy of the Omnipotent. We must not fail to thank God after overcoming difficulties in life. It is not due to human effort that we overcome difficulties but from God’s graciousness. (Fr. Marlon Ramirez, SVD Bible Diary 2004)


Leprosy was an abominable disease at that time. Lepers were banned from mingling with the healthy. Therefore from a distance these ten lepers called out Jesus for healing. It seems that Jesus also took them in their terms; so without going near them he just said aloud, “ok, you’re healed. Now show yourselves to the priests and be declared healed.” To show themselves to the priests was a customary legal requirement for lepers after recovery.

While still on their way they found that they were cured. The nine, obviously Jews, continued their journey to fulfill the ritual before re-entry into their communities. The Samaritan, however, at first impulse ran back to Jesus, knelt before him and thanked him, unmindful of legalities. Touched by the foreigner’s spontaneous gesture of gratitude, Jesus himself declared him healed: “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you,” (v. 19).

As can be observed, Jesus seems to have a bias towards Samaritans as shown in his encounter with the Samaritan woman ( John 4:1-30) in his Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37)and in this Samaritan leper. Could it be because of their spontaneity in relating? Unlike the Jews, they were not shackled by laws which in instances of interpretation and practice have become obstacles (for Jews) to a spontaneous relationship with Yahweh. The Samaritan woman was spontaneous in striking a conversation with Jesus and he was eager to answer her seemingly annoying questions. The good Samaritan (although just a parable character) showed spontaneous compassion on the wounded man who was supposed to be his mortal enemy. Finally, this Samaritan leper was spontaneous in his demonstrative gesture of gratitude, unfettered by man-made laws and rituals.

Highlighted in this gospel episode is the sentiment of gratitude. Our prayer is full of petitions let it be full of thanksgiving too. Gratitude is the mark of a noble heart. (Sr. Angelita Roferos, SSpS Bible Diary 2007)


A legend goes that two angels were once sent down from heaven, each with a basket. They went from place to place visiting different people and different situations in life.

Then at length they came flying back with their loads. The basket borne by one angel was laden, but that of the other way very light, hardly worthwhile. “What do you have in your basket” asked one of the other. “I was sent to collect the prayers of all the people who said, ‘I want this and that,’ and ‘please give me this or that,’” answered the angel who carried the heavy load. “And what have you in yours?” “Oh!” replied the other angel sadly, “I have been sent to collect the ‘thank you’ of all the people to whom the great God has sent many blessings. But see how few have remembered to give Him thanks.”

Have you thanked God today? Jesus in our gospel today showed signs of disgust not only one of the ten lepers, even a Samaritan, remembered to thank God. “Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God.”

Every moment we are receiving graces from God and from people around us. In fact, all we have and are come from God. But do we acknowledge this? Honestly, most of the time we are only good in asking God to do this or that for us. But when our petitions are granted we hardly remember to thank Him.

In the Mass, we are not the ones doing God a favor. It is God doing a favor to us. We are the ones receiving His words of life and His body and blood.

May we not forget to really express our gratitude to God. Life is much easier if we are full of gratitude to Him. (Fr. Gerry Baat, SVD Bible Diary 2008)


In 1999, I saw the roads of Samar from Allen to Tacloban like lepers in the gospel crying out, “Have pity on us.” Particularly loudest were the “cries” of the rugged part of the poorly maintained highway traversing in the towns of Gandara, Catbalogan, Jiabong, Hinabangan, Calbiga and Sta. Rita, the last two towns before Juanico Bridge. The people, whose houses were lined along the highways seemed like lepers too silently suffering their lot, yet loudly crying for attention and sincere service from the government.

In 2002, I was surprised to see Sta. Rita’s road until San Juanico Bridge rehabilitated. By 2003, the rehabilitated roads stretched northward to Calbiga, about 60 kilometers from Tacloban. My latest trip in May 30, 2008, the highway along the town of Paranas has also been rehabilitated and so were every town’s center of at least 500 meters to a kilometre, except Jiabong’s. Indeed, everytime I reached the rehabilitated portions of the road, I felt certain relief. The people too in these areas looked more radiant, and more hopeful, for better opportunities provided by the rehabilitated roads.

The Samaritan leper must have been jolted, too, with the realization that in Jesus, he was no longer rejected and abandoned by the roadside, languishing in his sickness. Jesus gave him what he may have long been hoping for. In fact, in his healing, together with that of the other nine, he was like being created anew. “go, show yourselves to the priests,” was like a divine command that created a new reality. This in itself becomes proof of the miracle, because all he knew before then was that he was a nobody, a reject and a sick valueless person. The word of Christ has given him a new life and he has experienced himself being a new creation. No wonder he was profuse in his praise and gratitude.

The celebration of the Eucharist is a “re-creation,” and we thank God for this Sacrament. This gift gives us our self-worth, and the thought that we are loved gives us more life. (Fr. Bernardo R. Collera, SVD Bible Diary 2009)


Among the Jews, leprosy was considered the worst illness. People who are sick with leprosy were expelled from society. In today’s gospel, Jesus showed compassion on them and He healed them. After healing them, Jesus gave them that instruction that they should show themselves to the priests as prescribed by the Jewish law. The priests were given the task to conduct physical examination in order to check if a leper has undergone genuine cleansing. It is only upon the public pronouncement of the priests that a healed leper could be accepted back to the society.

Something strange happened as recounted by the gospel. Of the ten lepers who were healed only one went back to Jesus to express his gratitude. Yet this man was a Samaritan while the other nine could be presumed Jews. Perhaps the leper who went back to thank Jesus was the one who really pleaded him saying: “Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!” He could be considered as the spokesman of the other nine. He believed that Jesus was his only hope who could cure him of his leprosy. And that is the reason why after he was cured and after he presented himself to the priests, he went back to Jesus and knelt before him to thank him personally for giving him back his life which simply means to live once again peacefully with his family and with the society.

Our gospel presents how the faith of one person could bring a wonderful effect to a community. The faith of one leper led Jesus to cure the community of 10 lepers. And aside from that we could imagine how the family, relatives and friends of the Samaritan leper were happy about his return. This then would tell us that the grace we receive from God because of our faith in Him will always have a dimensional effect. It is not only the individual who will enjoy the grace but also the community to which that individual belongs. So faith in God will never be an individual journey. It will always be within the context of communal journey for faith in God is after all a calling towards the Kingdom of God, a community of people gathered together in love (Fr. Jongjong Rocha, SVD Bible Diary 2013)


by Eileen Wirth (Department of Journalism)

Memorial of St. Joseph Pignatelli, S.J.
Wisdom 6:1-11
Psalm 82:3-4, 6-7
Luke 17:11-19

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Daily Reflections from a Student’s Point of View

“Judgment is stern for the exalted for the lowly may be pardoned out of mercy but the mighty shall be mightily put to the test …for those in power a rigorous scrutiny impends.”

A favorite student dropped into the office to chat about his fall break service trip to Appalacia. He has never before thought of himself as rich or privileged.

But on his trip, he met a man of 60 who looked 80 and was close to poverty for the first time. It was a big contrast to his life at Creighton or at home in Colorado. He has always been a giver but now he’s been sensitized to his lifelong obligation to give back.

This student exemplifies the way we should respond to today’s passage from Wisdom and the psalm reflecting on it: “Defend the lowly and the fatherless; render justice to the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the lowly and the poor.”

It’s hard for most of us who live modest lives (by American standards) to realize that we are more privileged than all but the richest people in Biblical times. In all likelihood, most of us own more things than even King Solomon. Even if we don’t think of ourselves as rich or powerful, we are, especially in comparison with the millions who go to bed hungry, sleep in hovels and lack basic medical care. God will surely hold us accountable for how well we have used our good fortune to aid others.

My student had his eyes opened on his service trip to Appalacia but every community has people in need. Maybe we know someone who isn’t even poor but just lonely. As Mother Teresa said, that’s a type of spiritual poverty.

A confession: whenever I read something like today’s passage, I resolve to become noble and help people but then I get busy and go back to life as usual. So today my goal will be modest. For just this week (and hopefully the week after than then the week after that etc.) I’ll try to do one thing for others every day to thank God for all my blessings. It may not be much but it’s a start to meeting God’s demands.




Here are some other things that we can glean from the exclusive account of St. Luke about the healing of the ten lepers:

  • Undeserved favour is sweeter. The nine Jewish lepers probably thought that it was just proper that Jesus healed them because they were part of God’s chosen people. On the other hand, the Samaritan leper could have thought that Jesus was extra-good in including him – a pagan by Jewish standards – in the healing of leprosy. He thought he did not deserve the favour, so he really came back to say “Thank you.”

We must never feel so bad when God never answers our prayers instantly. God may want to surprise us with something more than what we expect.

  • God blesses faith that is acted upon. The lepers were not healed right before Jesus. They were healed while they were acting with confidence on the words of Jesus that they should go and show themselves to the priests. They were healed while they obeyed the words of Jesus. They claimed the promise, and they acted on the basis of this claim.
  • Gratitude is a virtue not only before men, but also before God. God surely has no need for our praise. He is God, and He needs no other. There is nothing that we can do that God Himself cannot do. Nothing, except one. God cannot love himself. Love is given, a flow of grace from one to another. God wants us to love him. Our gratitude becomes meaningful since it is an expression of our love of God!


November 14, 2012

St. Lawrence
Wednesday of the 32nd Week

Ti 3:1-7
Ps 23
Lk 17:11-19

Lk 17:11-19
The Cleansing of Ten Lepers

11As [Jesus] continued his journey to Jerusalem, he traveled through Samaria and Galilee. 12As he was entering a village, ten lepers met [him]. They stood at a distance from him 13and raised their voice, saying, “Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!” 14And when he saw them, he said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” As they were going they were cleansed. 15And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; 16and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. He was a Samaritan. 17Jesus said in reply, “Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? 18Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?” 19Then he said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.”


Samaritan. Earlier, in a parable (Lk 10:25-37), Jesus presented a Samaritan traveler as a good neighbor to someone in mortal danger. Another Samaritan now makes it to Jesus’ heroes’ list: the grateful Samaritan leper.

The healing of Jesus here is twofold: as a leper and as a Samaritan.

Being a leper, the man is an outcast in his community. He has to stay outside settlements, towns, or encampments. He has to cry out “Unclean, unclean!” to ward off healthy people from coming close to him for fear of contamination. He is banned from the temple and the synagogues. He is deemed punished by God for his sins.

Jesus calls the Samaritan a “foreigner.” The Samaritan is not a member of the chosen people. He is a half-breed, belonging to an impure race, a hated enemy of the Jews.

By curing the man, Jesus restores him to life, to his community. His ritual impurity is taken away and he is now free to worship with his people. By singling him out as the only grateful leper in a group of ten, Jesus commends the man as better than the Jewish lepers healed. The man returns to give thanks to God through Jesus and is saved by his faith in Jesus. The nine are healed of leprosy, but this man is saved by Christ.

Are you grateful for everyday blessings from God? How have you made use of these blessings?


The Cleansing of Ten Lepers (Nov 13, 2013)

Lk 17:11-19

11As [Jesus] continued his journey to Jerusalem, he traveled through Samaria and Galilee. 12As he was entering a village, ten lepers met [him]. They stood at a distance from him 13and raised their voice, saying, “Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!” 14And when he saw them, he said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” As they were going they were cleansed. 15And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; 16and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. He was a Samaritan. 17Jesus said in reply, “Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? 18Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?” 19Then he said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.”


This foreigner returned to give thanks to God. Have you ever wondered how many people will continue to practice devotions in some popular shrines known for the graces bestowed upon devotees through the intercession of Mary or some other saint, e.g., Our Mother of Perpetual Help or St. Jude, if a notice were to be put in front of these churches, “No petitions accepted in this church from now on, only prayers of thanksgiving”? Perhaps the number of devotees would be cut in half. One thing is almost certain, we remember the Lord more when we have need of his help, than when we have received the help we needed.

Practice the prayer of gratitude. Be grateful for “all things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small,” for the Lord God made them all for you.

Be grateful for little blessings and ordinary graces.

A grateful heart is a happy heart.


WORD Today (Wis 6:1-11; Lk 17:11-19): As Christ marched to Jerusalem and passed through Samaria. At the border, 10 lepers came to Him for healing. 9 of them were Jews. The 10th was a Samaritan, an outsider. But Christ healed them all without distinction. He didn’t say to the 10th, “Sorry, charity begins at home,” because He was sent by His Father to save all mankind.

Charity or sacrificial love is meant to be taught at home to our children then demonstrate outside. In times of calamities, victims are sent by God to us whom He has spared and has given power and authority to save. “Authority was given to you by the Lord Most High. He’ll examine what you’ve done and what you plan to do,” (Wis 6:3)

Let’s examine our hearts and pockets and see if there are some charity left! (Fr. Iko Bajos Nov 13, 2013).


Catechism a DAY (Luke 17:13): “They raise their voice, saying: ‘Christ, Master! Have pity on us!’”


Those who approach the Sacrament of Penance obtain pardon from God’s mercy for the offense committed against Him, and are, at the same time reconciled with the Church which they have wounded by their sins and which by charity,  by example and by prayer (Study-Prayer-Act) labors for their conversion.

WHAT IS THIS SACRAMENT CALLED? It’s called the Sacrament of conversion because it makes sacramentally present Christ’s call to conversion, the first step in returning to the Father from whom one has strayed by sin. It’s called the Sacrament of Penance since it consecrates the Christian sinner’s personal and ecclesial steps of conversion, penance and satisfaction (Fr. Iko Bajos October 13, 2013)


WEDNESDAY OF THE 32ND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR A) – LUKAS 17:11-19. Nganong angay man kitang magpasalamaton? Gi-ayo ni Hesus ang napulo ka sanglahon nga nagpakilooy kaniya. Apan niining napulo, usa lamang ang nibalik aron sa pagdayeg ug pagpasalamat kang Hesus. Tungod niini nakapangutana ang Ginoo, “Dili ba napulo man ang nangaayo? Hain naman ang siyam?” Gipangita ni Hesus ang siyam dili tungod kay nanginahanglan Siya’g pagdayeg kondili tungod kay nahibalo Siya unsa ang maayong pamatasan. Kinahanglan sa tawo ang magpasalamat tungod kay ang pagkamapasalamaton maoy hiyas nga makapalig-on ug makapadasig sa katilingban. Diha sa pagpasalamat, atong gidawat nga kita nanginahanglan sa usa’g-usa ug nga kita nalipay sa pagtinabangay. Pinaagi sa pagpasalamat, ato usab nga gidayeg ang Dios nga maoy tuburan sa tanang madawat nga kaayohan. Posted by Abet Uy

(English) LUKE 17: 11-19. Why should we be grateful? Was Jesus healed ten lepers who asked him. But these ten, only one returned to give praise and thanksgiving to Jesus. This has caused the Lord, “not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? “Jesus looked nine for needy away praise, but because He knows what is good manners. Man should give thanks because gratitude is a virtue that strengthen and encourage the congregation. In gratitude, we acknowledge that we need each other and we are happy to work together. With gratitude, we also praised the God who is the source of all received welfare.


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

WEDNESDAY OF THE 32ND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR B) – LUKAS 17:11-19. NGANONG ANGAY MAN KITANG MAGPASALAMATON? Giayo ni Hesus ang napulo ka sanglahon nga nagpakilooy kaniya. Apan niining napulo, usa lamang ang nibalik aron sa pagpasalamat sa Ginoo. Tungod niini nakapangutana si Hesus, “Dili ba napulo man ang nangaayo? Hain naman ang siyam?” Gipangita ni Hesus ang siyam dili tungod kay nanginahanglan siya’g pagdayeg kondili tungod kay nahibalo siya unsa ang maayong pamatasan. Kinahanglan nga magpasalamat ang tawo tungod kay ang pagkamapasalamaton usa ka hiyas nga makapadasig sa katilingban. Diha sa pagpasalamat, atong gidawat nga kita nanginahanglan sa usa’g-usa ug nga kita nalipay sa pagtinabangay. Adunay panultihon nga nag-ingon, “It is not happy people who are thankful; it is thankful people who are happy.”


GRATITUDE IS HOLINESS – Jesus gives a lesson on thanksgiving here. This is rare. The reason is clear; He does not need our gratitude. He heals unconditionally and not to be recognized. He does it as pure service and love. He does it to save.

We must never think that God is like us who are aching and waiting for appreciation, praise or thanks. God is God. He is complete. But we wonder why Jesus, in our Gospel today, asked about the other nine when one returned to give thanks. Jesus added drama to the story by recognizing the one who returned as a “foreigner,” meaning not a member of the chosen people. It was an insult to the Jews. The Samaritan leper received the grace of healing better than the other lepers who were Jews.

Why the seeming need to be thanked and glorified? It is because tomake an act of gratitude makes us better children of God. When we thank God, we recognize our dependence on Him. We cannot exist without Him. In the process, we enrich ourselves with God’s grace. Being thankful means emptying ourselves and letting God inebriate us with His Spirit. Gratitude is holiness. The word “gratitude” itself is loosely associated with “grace.”

Jesus encourages us to be thankful to God — not for any selfish reason on God’s part, but for our continuous spiritual advancement towards the fullness of life. When we give thanks, we open ourselves to more graces. The leper who returned received more graces. Jesus recognized his faith, which facilitated his reception of salvation. Thus, gratitude is not just an act of holiness but an opening for salvation.

To wake up in the morning and live another day is already a great blessing. We have so many things in life to thank God for. Even our challenging and difficult times are opportunities to give thanks to God if we just think about it. We were made to give thanks. Our being is to give thanks. It was not accidental that the main Christian celebration is the Eucharist which means “thanksgiving.” God meant us to always give thanks. To Him, yes, but for our own salvation! Fr. Benny Tuazon

REFLECTION QUESTION: When did you last thank God for your blessings and for every single thing you have in your life?

Lord Jesus, a whole lifetime is not enough to thank You for all that’s in my life — blessings, graces, trials, people. Thank You for everything, Lord!


Jesus heals ten leapers: John Hughes has driven a taxi around the streets of New York for 35 years. He could fill a book with his stories.

On day he found an emerald ring in his cab. He racked his brain to try to remember to which fare it could have belonged. Suddenly he remembered helping a woman with a lot of bundles.

He drove back to the spot where she got out. It took him two days to locate her. When he did, he returned the ring to her. She didn’t give him a reward. She didn’t even thank him for his effort.

John said later, “Still, I felt good because I had done what was right.”

What is the quality of our own gratitude?

“For the flowers that bloom about our feet;

For the tender grass so fresh and sweet;

For the song of bird and hum of bee;

For all things we hear and see,

Father in heaven, we thank thee.” Ralph Waldo Emerson (Mark Link SJ, Illustrated Daily Homilies Weekdays, Bangalore: St. Pauls, 2003:292)


We think of healing in terms of being free from its physical manifestation. We breathe a sigh of relief. Our worries and distress are turned into joy. Yet physical healing is just the first stage of wholeness. The second stage is gratitude and acknowledge of the Healer who makes us whole. Thus in our gospel today, the only one who was truly healed was the Samaritan leper who returned to thank the Lord. In the process he was not only healed from his physical malady, his spiritual bondage was also lifted through the forgiveness of his sins. The nine others who were healed may have returned to their homes happy, but only one went home joyful (Claritian Publications’ Bible Diary 2014)


GRATITUDE is an attitude.  It doesn’t depend on nationality, educational attainment, economic or social status. It is a recognition that our blessings are unmerited, they are grace. Be grateful because you are grace-full (Ching Salibay OP Nov. 12, 2014)


Monday, November 9, 2015

Reflection for November 11, Wednesday, Saint Martin of Tours, Bishop: Luke 17:11-19

Reflection: Do we express our gratitude to Jesus, we who always receive blessing from Him every day?

In our gospel, ten lepers were healed by Jesus but only one a Samaritan (considered as an enemy of the Jews) was grateful enough to express his gratefulness to Jesus. What happened to the other nine? They went back to their normal lives with the gift of eyesight courtesy of Jesus, yet they never went back to Jesus to express their gratitude first.

The Samaritan in the gospel speaks to us by his faith and deed of gratefulness; he tells us to always have faith and to always be grateful to the miracles that Jesus gives us everyday. For example, do we still remember to thank Jesus for the gift of life every morning?

Many of us are so busy that we forget to say our prayer of thanksgiving upon waking-up. Many of the young people today, instead of saying their prayer of thanksgiving, they instead check first their smart phones for new messages and updates.

Let us never forget to express our thanksgiving to Jesus no matter how busy we are. – Marino J. Dasmarinas


See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

Back to: Wednesday of the 32nd Week of the Year

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