My Dear Sisters and Brothers! The parable which we heard a few weeks ago we can meditate again through the lenses of the Gospel for today. Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God lived what he knew of his Heavenly Father. If his Father is prodigal in loving Jesus is prodigal in loving too.
Ten lepers approached him shouting: ‘Jesus! Master! Take pity on us.” That’s what Jesus did. He didn’t calculate the rate of return for his act of mercy but prodigally he took pity on them all. He cleansed them all. He got poor return, only 10%. However it is not about a good return it is about investment. Without God’s investment there would be no return. The first Pope, St Peter wrote once: ‘The Lord is being patient with you all, wanting nobody to be lost and everybody to be brought to change his ways.’ This is the prodigal attitude of our Heavenly Father which is called the Gospel, the Good News.
The Gospel for this Sunday is truly Good News as it shows us the work of God in a human being. The 10% who returned to Jesus, that one man, ‘thanked Jesus.’ Simple words in English but when St Luke wrote it he used the word eucharist. The man who returned to Jesus became the Eucharist as his new life was defined by thankfulness. He was ready to tell everybody what Jesus did for him. He became a missionary. He was not spreading some propaganda but he was evangelising.
Can you remember what the ten lepers were doing when they came to Jesus? ‘They called to Jesus.’ When we need something we are professional at making our voice heard. Now, look at what the one leper is doing when he finds himself cleansed. ‘He turned back praising God at the top of his voice.’ What a missionary! The new life he received from Jesus became a means of reaching out to others. He didn’t do any course to preach but by believing in Jesus and being ready to witness to that faith he was ready to be commissioned. Our Blessed Lord said to him: ‘Stand up and go on your way. Your faith has saved you.’ Powerful words, which can be our commission too.
Jesus Christ, who is the Prodigal Son from today’s Gospel, didn’t stop on giving. The journey on which we find him this Sunday was to take him to Jerusalem where he was to give himself, to the last drop of his precious blood, for our salvation. He gave himself for us and for our salvation. Like Father like Son. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
My dear fellow Christians. You are at the Eucharist now. Become the Eucharist. Thank him for having saved you by his Cross and Resurrection. Praise him at the top of your voice. Make your thankfulness for God’s salvation heard. When you are asked about your faith remember that it is your opportunity not just to explain your faith but to praise the Lord before the people. You will be a missionary then, so ‘Stand up and go on your way. Your faith has saved you.