Father Rodney Torbic

December 4 / 17, 2017

The Twenty-Eighth Sunday after Pentecost

Luke 17:12-19

And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole. (KJV)

The people recorded in the Holy Gospel are not there by coincidence. The people identified and recorded in the Holy Gospel are there for a particular purpose. The Lord Jesus Christ took on human flesh at a certain point in history.

Some individuals are identified by name. Some are identified in other ways not by name. In the present instance, the ten men are identified as lepers. Their names, ages and specific identifying characteristics are not given.

The Gospel indicates Jesus came to the village. Whether the ten lepers had foreknowledge that Jesus was coming is not known. The knowledge the lepers had about Jesus is not recorded.

The circumstances and needs are different for individuals meeting Jesus. The ten men in the present Gospel had a sufficient understanding of Jesus to call Him by name and as ďMaster.Ē

The men had sufficient understanding to beseech mercy. The men certainly perceived Jesus to be authoritative and capable of granting mercy. The men were in need and Jesus was viewed as capable of making a difference in their lives.

This meeting between Jesus and the lepers took place centuries ago. The Church considers the meeting between Jesus and the lepers of sufficient value to have it proclaimed in parish churches and monasteries every year.

The meeting between Jesus and lepers is deemed by the Church to have instructional benefit. The meeting is deemed beneficial for the Christian soul. Believers are challenged to examine this Gospel lesson and learn from it.

Learning from Christ makes a difference in personal lives. The Gospel is nourishing for the soul. Every word has value and benefit. Believers are expected to seek to grow in Christ.

The Gospel provides nourishment for Christian growth. The ten men turned their attention to Jesus and asked for His mercy. At each Divine Liturgy believers seek the mercy of God. The request for mercy is repeated many times.

Godís mercy is needed throughout life. Believers sin with regularity. The lepers were looking for an improvement in their condition. The Lord Jesus Christ was recognized as the Source for their improvement.

Jesus was attentive to the request from the ten men. Jesus told the men to go to the priests. The Gospel states the ten were cleansed when they listened to Jesus. Listening to the Lord Jesus Christ always has merit.

Christians beseeching Godís mercy can be cleansed of their sins. Cleansing of sins takes place when individuals come to the priest for Holy Confession. The ten lepers were told to show themselves to the priests.

Individuals coming to Holy Confession are expected to expose their sins to the priest. Forgiveness and cleansing comes from God when individuals are willing to repent and seek the cleansing and healing power of God.

The cleansing of the lepers took place as a direct result of Jesus giving instructions to the lepers. The lepersí lives were changed dramatically. Lives in every century are changed dramatically due to the Lord Jesus Christ.

When the Holy Gospel is proclaimed Jesus is heard by attentive listeners. When individuals want to improve their lives and are not satisfied with their lives, it is time to listen carefully to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Listening to the Lord Jesus Christ requires acknowledging the presence of Christ and being receptive to His message. Fully listening to Christ means being willing to personally follow through on actions intended.

Listening to Christ involves screening out distractions impeding Christís message. The ten lepers heard Jesus and heeded what He had to say to their personal benefit.

One of the ten lepers appreciated the extent of his change in life and chose to glorify God. The healed leper returned to Jesus and he gave glory to God. The healed leper took personal action to show his appreciation.

The thankful manís thinking was not clouded. He was not deluded into thinking the healing was from a source other than God. The healed leper had the presence of mind to know God was the source of the healing.

When our lives change for the better gradually or dramatically, we need to have the presence of mind to think about God having effected the change. We do well to be thankful as the grateful leper.

God gives us the very voices we have to express ourselves. God gives us the minds we have to formulate our thoughts including the prayers we bring before God.

The healed leper raised his voice in glory to God. He was grateful and not restrained in giving God the credit. The joy the man experienced was not containable. Let us joyfully and in gratitude thank God now and always.

No. 7. December 4 / 17, 2017.
The Twenty-Eighth Sunday after Pentecost.
The Greatmartyr Barbara.
John of Damascus.

Fr. Rodney Torbic
Hidden Valley, Pennsylvania

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