Wet Behind The Ears
‘It’s not normal to be well.’
I remember having this thought years ago as a young priest, still ‘wet behind the ears.’
I had never given much thought to sickness, but visiting hospitals, nursing homes and people ‘home alone,’ stopped me in my tracks.
Luke 17 proclaims an encounter of 10 lepers with Jesus of Nazareth:
As Jesus entered one of the villages, ten lepers came to meet him. They stood some way off and called to him, ‘Jesus! Master! Take pity on us.’
The 10 were healed after following instructions, but only one came back:
Finding himself cured, one of them turned back praising God at the top of his voice and threw himself at the feet of Jesus and thanked him.
Brendan Byrne, SJ, draws out the meaning:
All ten received physical healing. But only the one on the margins fully experiences salvation.
The episode well illustrates Luke’s sense of the ‘knowledge of salvation’ (1:77): beyond physical healing or rescue, salvation means praising and thanking the God who has set you free (The Hospitality of God, p.140).
And when was the last time I ‘threw myself at the feet of Jesus’?