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Stand Up and Go
Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem, he traveled through Samaria and Galilee. As he was entering a village, ten lepers met him. They stood at a distance from him and raised their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!” And when he saw them, he said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” As they were going they were cleansed. And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. He was a Samaritan. Jesus said in reply, “Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?” Then he said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.”
Opening Prayer: My God, I love and I thank you! Grant me the grace to praise you as you are praised in today’s psalm, “Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done wondrous deeds; his right hand has won victory for him, his holy arm. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation by our God. Sing joyfully to the Lord, all you lands: break into song; sing praise (from Psalm 98).
- Calling to Jesus: As he journeyed to the Temple in Jerusalem, Jesus traveled through the areas where God’s people lived (Galilee) and the places where they had fallen away (Samaria). Christ was on his way to suffer his Passion for the salvation of all people, and he was working to unite and bring everyone into his Kingdom. Lepers were outcasts who were forced to keep their distance because of contagion. Yet these men knew who Jesus was and didn’t hesitate to make a scene by calling out to him, “Jesus, Master! Have pity on us.” They were desperate for a cure and hoped in the healing power of Jesus. Two thousand years later, we know Jesus is “healing and wholeness, the anointed, our strength and salvation, almighty, King of the Universe” (Litany of Praise). He is still working to bring everyone into his Kingdom. When we are suffering, we call out to Jesus full of hope, just as the lepers did, “Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!”
- Obeying the Master: Jesus directed the lepers to “Go show yourselves to the priests,” because priests had the responsibility to declare lepers clean and able to return to society. Jesus also directs us to “Go show yourselves to the priests.” At the hands of our priests we receive the sacraments of Baptism (which give us new life as children of God), Reconciliation (which heals us of our sins), and the Eucharist (which makes Jesus present to us). We are truly healed and restored by the graces flowing from the Catholic priesthood. Let us pray for priests and for more vocations to the priesthood.
- Stand Up and Go: The proper response to the sacrifice Jesus made for our salvation is gratitude. Although the one who returned to thank Jesus was a Samaritan, an outsider to the faith, it was this leper who received praise and a mission from God: “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.” First, Jesus commands him to “Stand up” and claim his place as a child of God and then to, “Go” and evangelize by telling others what happened to him. By the graces we receive through the sacraments, we are continually healed and restored. Like the leper, we set out to accomplish the mission God has given us—to joyfully share our love of Christ with everyone.
Conversing with Christ: Unlike the lepers in this Gospel passage who had only heard of you, I know and love you intimately, Lord Jesus. I also know that I suffer from spiritual leprosy and live in constant need of your healing. Help me, Lord, to approach you despite my leprosy, confident in your loving, transformative power to restore me through the sacraments.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will strive to more frequently go to the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist.
For Further Reflection: Read Part Two, Section Two of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “The Seven Sacraments of the Church,” and thank Jesus for his gift of the Church.
Nan Balfour is a wife, mother, and grandmother. She volunteers as a writer and speaker for Pilgrim Center of Hope, a Catholic evangelization ministry that answers Christ’s call by guiding people to encounter him so as to live in hope as pilgrims in daily life.