"Why did the lepers have to follow simple directions before being cured?"

By Paul Dion, STL

This week - the 28th Sunday in ordinary time - we are going to hear two impressive stories about lepers who get cured. One story comes from the Old Testament, the Second Book of Kings and the other is in the Gospel according to Saint Luke. Click here to view the Sunday Readings.

As it turns out, the one in the Old Testament was Persian and of the the ten in the gospel story, the one who came back to express his gratitude was a Samaritan. One of those nasty people from the West Bank.

The Burning Question is not about gratitude and it is not about reaching out to strangers and those who are "different" than we. The Burning question is more demanding than that, this week. I am going to give you the Bible references here so that you can read both stories in their full context.

Naaman the Leper; 2 Kings, Chapter 5, verses 1 to 19.
The Ten Lepers: Luke, chapter 17, verses 11 to 19.

Notice that in both stories, both the prophet of the Old Testament and Jesus of the Gospel give the persons about to be healed something to do. In both situations, the action is not difficult, but it has great meaning.

Think about it a while and when the light goes on, send us your opinion about the answer to the question:

"Why did the lepers have to follow simple directions before being cured?"

Yes, there is a reason. Yes, it is connected to a question about Catholics that all of you have heard at least once, if not once a month. Go on, give it a try and we'll swap ideas along the way.

You can leave your comment on the burning question or to see what others are saying below.

CLICK HERE to see the answer to this Burning Question.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11:24 AM

    The short answer is that the authority they were appealing to said that they were so to do. The nature of sacramental grace requires that the reecipient or seeker perform some real world physical task as part of the ritual, failure to participate would indicate lack of the appropriate sate of mind-willingness.
    As for the other nine, Jesus told them to "show yourselves to the priests". We can only hope that they were on their way still to do as they had been told. After all, showing your self to the priests was the last stage of being re-admitted to the community of Israel after having been declared unclean. What was the Samaritan to do? He could hardly show up in the Temple Precinct without being at best badly beaten, so while the good Jews went on to the Temple, he returned to give thanks where it was safe.