Sunday Bible Reflections
A foreign leper is cleansed and in thanksgiving returns to offer homage to the God of Israel. We hear this same story in both the First Reading and Gospel today.
There were many lepers in Israel in Elisha’s time, but only Naaman the Syrian trusted in God’s Word and was cleansed (see Luke 5:12–14). Today’s Gospel likewise implies that most of the ten lepers healed by Jesus were Israelites—but only a foreigner, the Samaritan, returned.
Our Lord is a lover of souls, the Liturgy shows us today. As we sing in today’s Psalm, He is slow to anger and compassionate toward all that He has made.
In His mercy, our First Reading tells us, He overlooks our sins and ignorance, giving us space that we might repent and not perish in our sinfulness (see Wisdom 12:10; 2 Peter 3:9).
Jesus draws a blunt picture in today’s Gospel.
The Pharisee’s prayer is almost a parody of the thanksgiving psalms (see for example Psalms 30, 118). Instead of praising God for His mighty works, the Pharisee congratulates himself for his own deeds, which he presents to God in some detail.
The Lord is our guardian, beside us at our right hand, interceding for us in all our spiritual battles.
In today’s Psalm we’re told to lift our eyes to the mountains, that our help will come from Mount Zion and the Temple—the dwelling of the Lord who made heaven and earth.