No one has returned to give thanks to God except this foreigner.

No one has returned to give thanks to God except this foreigner.

Something about Jesus brought these sick people to him. They heard of him hoped for a cure. And something about them brought healing. They went back better.

We notice he healed without a word. Jesus healed often by being who he was at that moment. He embraced the people whom nobody wanted. He never asked why these people suffering from leprosy got sick, or when. He just saw in front of him a sick man or woman. He cured with compassion. A challenge to all of us in helping people. Medical services today can be so impersonal. Someone asked ‘when will I have my procedure?’ ‘Oh’, he was told, ‘you’re number 5 on the list!’

His non-condemnatory way of healing was a big quality in Jesus. No lectures on life-style. Pope Francis thinks of the church first of all as a sort of ‘field hospital’. A place of being with people in need of care, and healing.

For these people Jesus’ compassion was touched by their faith or their misery. Same with ourselves. We can do a lot for each other just by being who we are. One of the greatest needs today is to be heard. Often we need to be heard – advice is given 2 a penny, or opinions when all I want is someone to say – what do you mean by that? Even when someone drives you mad, maybe then they need to be heard.

In our culture there is a huge need for the personal. Friendships cannot exist only on e-mails, face-book, or texts. We need to keep the personal alive, to keep compassion active and to be a community of listeners before we are speakers. To look others in the eye with love and care before asking anything of them. To bring mercy, sometimes without words, with a listening ear to the cares of all.

Source: Gospel reflection by Fr Donal Neary SJ, editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger https://sacredheartmessenger.com

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