In this Sunday’s gospel we hear the story of 10 lepers who ask Jesus to heal them. He tells them to go to the priests and be healed. After all ten were healed, only one praised God and came back to thank Jesus. Jesus then questioned: Where are the other nine?
Jesus sent the lepers to the priests to test them to see if they had patience and if they would follow his request to go to the priests instead of needing to be healed immediately by Jesus. And they followed him. Jesus also wanted to honor and respect the priesthood. His message was to let the people know that the priests are in the church to help heal everyone’s souls.
Why did only one leper come back to thank Jesus for the healing? Even though Jesus did not need the thanks from these lepers, he sends the message that we all do need to be thankful. We are the ones who are sick like the lepers and need Jesus for the healing of our souls. Maybe we are not lepers, but we all have sins that need healing and forgiveness. Through the mysteries of confession and receiving Holy Communion, we begin the healing process. Today’s gospel shows us that we are only fully healed after we have praised God and thanked him for everything. May the Lord be upon us and protect us in this new year.