All ten lepers were outside the town as they were considered unclean. It is interesting that only the Samaritan went back to thank Jesus when he saw that he was healed even if the others realized that they were healed as well. Samaritans were hated by the Jews because they were foreigners placed in Samaria by King Sargon of Assyria during the time of his colonization of Samaria. They were taught to worship the God of Israel but to continue to worship their own gods as well.

We are all lepers for we are all unclean because of our sins. But Christ is passing by today to heal us. Are you one of the nine lepers? Or are you the Samaritan who went back to Jesus to thank him? If you feel you are like the Samaritan who knows he is despised by others for being doubly unclean – a leper and a Samaritan; if you feel others are judging you for your sins and you would like a way out of this situation, this gospel shouts out to you, “Courage!” All that the Lord is asking from you is to cry out, “Jesus! Master! Take pity on me!” If you truly believe that he can help you, he will say to you, “Stand up and go on your way. Your faith has saved you.”

Anytime the Lord cures us of any sin, let us be like the Samaritan who praised and thanked the Lord as he realized that he did not even deserve to be healed. Maybe the others thought they deserved healing and so they did not acknowledge Jesus as the Divine Healer. Often, when we feel we are faithful to the Lord, as the nine lepers might have thought they were, we feel we deserve it when God gives us what we ask for, and so we do not show much gratitude for what He has done to us. Let the example of the Samaritan leper remind us to be always grateful for the graces we receive from the Lord.