In his homily at the “Student Mass”, Father General
commented on the Gospel of the day: Jesus’ encounter with the ten lepers. In a
secularised context such as that of the Czech Republic, he suggested that we
are all, in one way or another, lepers who can approach Jesus with confidence
and who are called to obey his promptings.
“Today’s gospel tells us of a certain encounter of
Jesus on the way to Jerusalem. An encounter that takes place in either Samaria
or Galilee, whose inhabitants were, for the Jews, synonymous with
unfaithfulness (Samaria) or far from God in their daily life (Galilee).
Nevertheless, it is there that a very important encounter with ten lepers takes
place. These people are not only strangers to the Jews, but also people marked
by the death that is slowly consuming them.
Respecting all the rules designed to prevent infecting
others, the lepers stop at a safe distance from Jesus and ask him for mercy.
Jesus, however, does not heal them of their leprosy. He tells them to go and
show themselves to the priest in Jerusalem. (...) It is only when they set off
being obedient to Jesus’ command that they are cleansed of leprosy on the way.
They are healed on the way. Their prayer is heard on the way. (...)
Looking at this encounter from today’s gospel, we can
see that the healing the lepers ask for is only fulfilled when they become
obedient to the word of Jesus, when they set out on a journey they could not
even imagine. Let us note that Jesus himself was going to Jerusalem, so he
instructed the lepers to make the same journey as he was doing himself. (...)
lepers are all of us, called to follow Jesus, even if we feel unable to walk in
his way. But how can we, if we are excluded, because we are lepers and sinners
like Peter (Lk 5:8)? We are cleansed by obedience to his word, which commands
us this journey. Within this we are purified. It is not that first we are
righteous and then we can follow Jesus: salvation is not a condition, but a
consequence of following. That is why we, sinners and the lost, can walk the
path of Jesus.”