The Gospel reading from the Mass for Wednesday of the 32nd Week of Ordinary Time is Luke 17:11-19.

After warning the disciples of the damnation that comes to those who lead others into sin and commanding them to humbly do their duty, Christ demonstrates His Divine Mercy by miraculously healing 10 lepers. Leprosy is a devastating illness (though curable today) that ravages the bodies of lepers. Worse, since leprosy made a man “unclean” by Jewish law (Lev 13-14) and was contagious, lepers were outcasts who were forced to live outside of cities, shut out from the covenant life of Israel.

Though they were neighbors who shared some common Jewish blood, Samaritans and Jews were hostile to and avoided each other. But in the trauma of leprosy, a Samaritan leper banded together with 9 Jews in their social exile. Begging for Christ’s mercy from a distance (as was required by Jewish law), Christ tells them to “show yourselves to the priests” (another Jewish law requirement to confirm healing; Lev 14) and they are healed on the way. In this, Christ prefigures how the Sacrament of Reconciliation draws the sinner back into full community with the Body of Christ, just as cleansed lepers are allowed back into Jewish society by being declared clean by a priest.

Only the Samaritan returns to Christ Jesus, joyfully praising God and falling prostrate at Christ’s feet. Christ confirms His Divinity as the Samaritan gives “praise to God” and publicly rebukes the 9 Jews who have failed to be grateful to Him. Previewing His salvation to all men including Jews and Gentiles (Samaritans), Christ says, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.” While Christ healed the bodies of the 10 lepers, only the Samaritan, who’s faith is confirmed by his adoration and gratitude of Christ, is given the eternal blessing of the salvation of his soul (“your faith has made you well”).

Awed by Jesus Christ – As the Son of God, Christ is Divine Mercy incarnate and is the Perfection of Virtue. The Divine Physician, Christ has the omniscience and omnipotence to supernaturally heal any sickness. Divine Priest, Christ prefigures the Sacrament of Confession and emphasizes the need for priests.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Men often fail to be awed by Christ’s miracles because they fail to think deeply. Look at images of leprosy on the internet and realize that Christ healed the 10 lepers instantaneously. Be awed.

2) As Christ rebukes the 9 of the 10 healed lepers who failed to return and praise Him, so too must Christ rebuke the many Catholic men who fail to zealously offer praise to Him for His many blessings. Reflect on the need for the Prayer of Praise (CCC 2639-2643, 2649) and pray for Christ to give you a faith by which you willingly “fall on your face” to praise Him.

3) As Christ heals both the leprosy and the soul of the Grateful Leper, Christ can heal men of both physical and spiritual disease. Reflect on Christ the Divine Physician (CCC 1481, 1484, 1503-1510, 1848) and pray for Him to heal you and those who need Him, according to His will; receive or bring someone in need to the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Glorious Mysteries

Daily Devotion – Saint Joseph

Virtue of the Day – Temperance

Corporal Work of Mercy – To visit the imprisoned

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To comfort the sorrowful