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Doctrines & Morals

The Memorial of St Leo the Great

Wis. 6:1-11, Lk. 17:11-19. We do not always remember that the ultimate source of our graces and gifts is God. That is what makes the Samaritan leper special and distinguishes him from the other nine in today’s Gospel. All ten were equally healed by Jesus, but only one of them turned back praising God. This man knelt down in a gesture of deep appreciation, he thanked Jesus and he praised God. He had the insight to understand that God had cured him: “Nobody has come back to give praise to God, except this foreigner.” Was it their sudden, unexpected return to good health that distracted the other nine, that they forgot the normal courtesy of returning to thank the healer for their cure? Jesus goes on to assure the Samaritan leper: “Your faith has saved you.” This leper had a grateful heart, he recognised God at work in his recovery. We are called to that same gratitude, to recognise God at work in the graces that bless us in the course of our lives.

Strangely enough, God’s finest gifts, our life and health, our ability to think and act creatively, are often taken for granted. With good reason the Book of Wisdom warns us to value and use our talents. Gratitude is better than pride. Today's first reading presents us with a presage of Christ's warning to the wealthy and powerful who misuse their position for gain, or abuse their authority. We have some relative power over others, whether they are in our families, work, faith community, or simply those with whom we have incidental contact. We are enjoined to create harmony; learn wisdom; yearn for wisdom in order to do the will of God. Pope St Leo the Great can show us what it means for us to obey God and do His will, as he was a powerful figure, a humble yet very respected leader throughout Christendom, who devoted his time and efforts to care for the needs of his flock, to prevent the Church from falling into heretical ways and to support the Church and the community of the faithful by his great leadership. At that time, the Western Roman Empire and the city of Rome had been beset by barbarian invasions and there were much devastation caused in those difficult years of conflicts and wars. At the same time, the Church had also faced a lot of problems with heretical and unorthodox teachings, most prominently the heresies of Nestorianism and Monophysitism, which were at the extremes of the Christian theology, threatening to break the Church apart.

May the Lord help us to respond to God's sovereignty over us, so that we may find reasons to give thanks for all that God continues to do in our lives! Amen!! Good morning and peace be with you!!!

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