First Reading: 2 Kings 5:14-17
Psalm Response: Psalm 98:1-4
Second Reading: 2 Timothy 2:8-13
Gospel: Luke 17:11-19
In reflecting on today’s reading concerning the suffering of the lepers being “outcast”, thus separated from society and a perceived threat, I was reminded of a poem “Oath of Disloyalty”. It is written by a Jewish woman, Reb Irvin Keller. I will take the liberty of shortening and using the word Christian where she had the word Jew.
I am a disloyal Christian,
I am not loyal to a political party.
I am not loyal to walls or cages.
I am not loyal to taunts or tweets.
I am not loyal to hatred, to Christian-baiting, to the gloating connivings of white supremacy.
I am not loyal to stories that tell me whom I should hate.
I am a loyal Christian.
I am loyal to the inconveniences of kindness.
I am loyal to the dream of justice where all are accepted and welcomed.
I am loyal to this suffering Earth and to all of life.
I am loyal to the children who will come and the quality of the world we leave them.
I am loyal to freedom and welcome, holiness, hope and love.
Jesus, as a Jew, rejected the norms of defining who the outcasts of society were. He offered healing. The healing was not only physical, but included acceptance into society as a valuable and contributing member. When each of us feels we are made “whole” it brings healing to mind, body and soul. We welcome kindness, hope and love.
How loyal am I to the gospel of welcoming those I fear? Those I feel repulsion toward? What healing do I need to be made “clean”? When do I feel rejected, or feel like I am standing on the “outside”; be it family, a group of friends or at work?
“Have mercy on me, O God”. I come in my brokenness to be made whole. Open my heart and mind. Help me to be with others who feel lonely, separated, and in pain. Help me to offer healing to those perceived as less equal.
Rosie Miller, osf