The title of this Sunday's sharing refers to the lepers in the Gospel from Luke 17:11-19
They came to meet Jesus but stood some way off and called to him, 'Jesus! Master! Take pity on us. The phrase struck me because it made me think of all those who stand some way off,
those who feel excluded, isolated, judged, misunderstood.
Perhaps that has been our experience at times and I am sure we know other people who live with this experience.
Jesus sees us and he sees all who live on the periphery. Isn't that an incredible blessing to be seen by Jesus?
Pope Francis says, “The church is called to come out of herself and to go to the peripheries, not only geographically, but also the existential peripheries: the mystery of sin, of pain, of injustice, of ignorance and indifference to religion, of intellectual currents and of all misery.”
Mercy is the first thing the Catholic Church is called to bring to those peripheries, he says.
Jesus encountered the Lepers. He saw them standing some way off and ultimately enabled them
to be restored to their families and community.
The Samaritan who came back to thank Jesus in today's Gospel experienced being on the periphery on several counts, being a leper and being a Samaritan. Finding himself cured, he was incredibly grateful for the blessings he had received and threw himself at the feet of Jesus.
We are invited to take on the heart of Christ in seeing and showing mercy to those who are rejected and experience prejudice of any kind.
And for ourselves to accept the mercy of God into those areas of our lives we find difficult to acknowledge and deal with.
Listen to 'Heaven belongs to you' track 10 from the album 'Movement of Time'
Blessings on your week.