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Lk 17: 12-19 - Patristic Commentary

17:11-19 Cleansing of the Ten Lepers

JESUS SENT THEM TO THE PRIESTS TO FULFILL THE LAW. CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA: Why did he not say, "I will, be cleansed,"' as he did in the case of another leper, instead of commanding them to show themselves to the priests? It was because the law gave directions to this effect to those who were delivered from leprosy. It commanded them to show themselves to the priests and to offer a sacrifice for their cleansing. He commanded them to go as being already healed so that they might bear witness to the priests, the rulers of the Jews and always envious of his glory. They testified that wonderfully and beyond their hope, they had been delivered from their misfortune by Christ's willing that they should be healed. He did not heal them first but sent them to the priests, because the priests knew the marks of leprosy and of its healing. COMMENTARY ON LUKE, HOMILIES 113-16.

BLESS THE HELPER FOR BENEFITS RECEIVED. ATHANASIUS: Today, the Lord rebukes those who keep the Passover the way the Jews did, just as he rebuked certain lepers he had cleansed. You recall that he loved the one who was thankful, but he was angry with the ungrateful ones, because they did not acknowledge their Deliverer. They thought more highly of their cure from leprosy than of him who had healed them.... Actually, this one was given much more than the rest. Besides being healed of his leprosy, he was told by the Lord, "Stand up and go on your way. Your faith has saved you."

You see, those who give thanks and those who glorify have the same kind of feelings. They bless their helper for the benefits they have received. That is why Paul urged everybody to "glorify God with your body." Isaiah also commanded, "Give glory to God." FESTAL LETTER 6.

THE THANKFULNESS OF THE SAMARITAN. CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA: Falling into a thankless forgetfulness, the nine lepers that were Jews did not return to give glory to God. By this, he shows that Israel was hard of heart and utterly unthankful. The stranger, a Samaritan, was of foreign race brought from Assyria. The phrase "in the middle of Samaria and Galilee" has meaning. "He returned with a loud voice to glorify God." It shows that the Samaritans were grateful but that the Jews, even when they benefited, were ungrateful. COMMENTARY ON LUKE, HOMILIES 113-16.



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