Healed but not saved

The Gospel today (Luke 17:11-19) brings out the important distinction between being "healed" and being "saved".

Ten lepers asked Jesus to have pity on them. They were all healed, but only one, a Samaritan, returned. He fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him.

"Stand up and go," Jesus told the Samaritan. "Your faith has saved you."

It is obvious that whoever is in trouble, even those who suffered from the horrible disease of leprosy in the Biblical time, as long as he asks Jesus, he will be "healed". But if we then take the healing for granted and fail to remember God's grace and glorify or thank him, we are not truly "saved".

That gratitude, which Naaman in the first reading (2 Kings 5:14-17) also demonstrated when he returned and gave thanks to Elisha who had cleaned him of his leprosy, is the difference between being healed and being saved. Let us be like Naaman and take "two mule-loads of earth" back with us, as reminder of our gratitude to God.

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