Was it leprosy as we know it or was it a skin disease that frightened people because there was no known cure? We are not free of that style of response, even today! Their response then was to expel them, hide them away, anywhere out of sight and then it becomes easier. It’s ‘their’ problem and certainly not mine. Again a solution not uncommon in our time.
So, again, the context. On the border with Samaria, no love lost there on both sides. Jesus, the true Jew, with ample understanding of the Jewish laws, not only about mixing on a social level, but the demanding dietary and purity laws governing contact with the “lepers.” Leave the food near the camp… don’t go in… don’t mix… otherwise you will not be welcome in the Temple for worship. The current practise of breaking a muffin and having a coffee on Sunday morning was not an alternative in 30 AD.
So he made a big decision and even in these circumstances, the Chosen race let him down. Only the Samaritan came back to give thanks.
It does not take much effort to give thanks or to take two mules’ loads of soil as a sign. Nor do we necessarily need something hard and difficult to be accomplished before Our God will respond. St Therese’s “little way ” reminded us of the greatness of God’s love. Perhaps this week we might look for the little things, a good morning to those we meet might just cleanse their day.