The St Francis Leprosy Guild has shared a set of resources in advance of this Sunday’s Gospel reading, which references the skin disease.

Leprosy is mentioned many times in the Bible, in both the Old and New Testament. It is described as a scourge, a curse and a terrible affliction requiring cleansing. In Matthew 8:1, Mark 1:40 and Luke 5:12 we read how Jesus cured a man with leprosy. In all three Gospels, the man begged Jesus to cure him and Jesus, filled with compassion for the man’s plight, cured him.

Whilst many think of leprosy as a disease of ancient times, the World Health Organization recently reported that thousands of adults and children  have been diagnosed with leprosy in 2021/2022. Many were diagnosed with visible disabilities such as blindness, clawed hands or lost digits, that will affect their lives forever. Moreover, it is readily acknowledged that millions more are undiagnosed, spreading infection within their communities or, living with its life-changing effects such as blindness, clawed hands, or chronic tropical ulcers.

Resources

World map: Over half of all countries worldwide report leprosy - that is over 100 countries out of 195

28th Sunday in Ordinary Time: The Gospel

No-one has come back to praise God, only this foreigner

On the way to Jerusalem Jesus travelled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he 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.’ When he saw them he said, ‘Go and show yourselves to the priests.’ Now as they were going away they were cleansed. 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. The man was a Samaritan. This made Jesus say, ‘Were not all ten made clean? The other nine, where are they? It seems that no one has come back to give praise to God, except this foreigner.’ And he said to the man, ‘Stand up and go on your way. Your faith has saved you.’

Luke 17:11-19