Showing posts from November, 2014


In the healing of ten lepers, Jesus asks where the other nine are. All ten men cried out to Jesus for mercy, but only one returned to give thanks. 

It would seem that there are more mercy seekers in the world than thanks givers.
In the deplorable state of the human condition, we have every reason to cry out to God for mercy. It is in this cry for help that God’s ears turn toward us. The Scriptures paint a clear picture of God’s desire to save us from destruction.
And so, we cry ‘Lord have mercy’.
Leprosy is a metaphor for our sins. These lepers were "afar off", not only because they had to stay away from the Jews, because of their uncleanness, but also because we cannot approach God, being full of sins. A man who has sins is certainly afar off from God.[i]
Jesus discovers in the Samaritan, a man who understands that faith and gratitude are companions. If you trust, you are grateful. The other nine lepers were likely Jews. Jesus did not call them strangers or foreigners, just th…


It was not enough that Jesus could heal the bodies of the ten lepers. He recognized that some experiences are worse than physical discomfort. These men were exiled from living in community. They had no way to be restored to their families, friends and place in the world.
Jesus sent them to be examined by the priests. Jesus knew that the inner restoration of the men could not happen until they were returned to human acceptance. Without that piece of the equation, they could enjoy perfect health but never be recognized as cured. They would still be exiled and discarded.
When we pray for healing and get medical help for people that are sick, we must recognize that God is interested in each person belonging in community. We may find fault with the ancients for exiling their own to leper colonies, but the path back still requires protocols to be met. The people with Jesus’ heart understand that human empathy and acceptance are a great part of the healing journey.
The ten lepers were not immed…


There have always been diseases and conditions that become the defining feature of a person’s existence. No longer a man or woman, you have become something else—a leper. 

What other ways have we taken symptoms and characteristics and used them to define people as something less than what we are?

Luke 17:11 Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus travelled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance 13 and called out in a loud voice, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!" 14 When he saw them, he said, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were cleansed. 15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him--and he was a Samaritan. 17 Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner…


In ancient times, leprosy was a greatly feared disease. The Centers For Disease Control report that:

Hansen's disease (also known as leprosy) is a long-lasting infection caused by bacteria. The disease was once feared as a highly contagious and devastating disease. Now, however, the disease is very rare and easily treated. Early diagnosis and treatment usually prevent disability related to the disease.[i]
Did you know that Canada had leper colonies?
Sheldrake Island, New Brunswick was set up as a lazaretto in 1844. 18 people with leprosy (including children) were forced to live in isolation on the island. Social services dropped off food and firewood, but they were not allowed to leave. More were added to the colony. Five years later a new colony was established in Tracadie, New Brunswick and the Sheldrake lepers were moved. There were now 31 people and all Caucasian.
The Religious Hospitallers of Saint Joseph came from Montreal, in 1868 to take care of the lepers at Tracadie and they…