Sunday, October 10, 2010

10-10-10- In Fullness

“Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine?
Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?” Then he said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.”……… Luke Ch 17: 17-19

Dear friends today is a unique day as it is the tenth day of the tenth month of the tenth year of the third millennium and today the Catholic church takes a reading from the Gospel of Luke wherein ten lepers are healed.

We have to pause to reflect the first reading of this Sunday which is a reading from the book of Kings. In this reading “Naaman went down and plunged into the Jordan seven times
at the word of Elisha, the man of God. His flesh became again like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean of his leprosy.”…… 2 Kings 5:14

The symbolism is very strong in both readings. Let us delve deep in to the meaning of these words.
In the Hebrew scripture the number seven was deemed as fullness as the entire creation, where in God’s spirit is enshrined, was made manifest in seven days or phases. We are told that Naaman immersed himself in the river Jordan seven times and the restoration of fullness is dispensed through the word of Prophet Elisha. Naaman was a Syrian and he receives the grace of the Divine.
Leprosy can be seen as a decease of deformation and decay from the ordained structure. Every human being has a structure in this manifestation which is determined by the combined action of matter and spirit. Matter itself is imbued with Divine energy or Prana which in Christianity we call ‘Spiritus Sanctus’. It is only through the balanced action of these two dimensions that one can maintain the wholeness. The primacy of the action of the Divine is revealed in these passages. The unblemished fullness is indicated by the author the book of Kings when he writes that Naaman’s flesh became again like the flesh of a little child.

The all inclusive action of Divine potential is not the birthright of the Israelites and it is told in no small measure that being born in a specific community does not guarantee Divine grace. You have to earn it by faith and all humanity is included.

In Luke’s writing, we hear of the ten lepers. Luke was a Greek-speaking Syrian physician who lived in the Greek city of Antioch in Ancient Syria and a great disciple of Paul. Luke was not an eyewitness to Jesus ministry but compiled his Gospel to provide a deeper meaning of Christ’s message to the Greek community for whom he addressed his writing. Now we can understand the influence of Greek learning. The number ten is a full count in the Greco-Roman world and hence the fullness is devoted to the number ten.

The story then takes a different dimension. The ten are told by Jesus to go show themselves to the priest and all are healed as they undertake the journey but only one gentile returns to thank Jesus. The commentary on this portion of the Gospel is very debatable as it is argued that the nine proceeded as they did not want to disobey Jesus but as I see it the nine are on the way to see the priests, who are designated earthly source of Divine grace, but only one of them, a gentile, realizes that Jesus is the true high priest, who is the primary source of Divine grace, and returns to the source of healing. Christ delivers a very important message that there is an all inclusive opportunity for the action of Divine grace but one has to be chosen to receive this grace through utter surrender and openness. This is reason he says: “No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him” ……John 6: 44 and again, “No man can come unto Me, except it were given unto him of my Father” ………John 6: 65.

Every moment of our life let us surrender to the Divine will so that we may be totally healed of our deformities and receive the unblemished beauty of a child like nature.

Love to you all

4 comments :

  1. The leper who comes back to Jesus after getting healed reminds me of the story of the Shiva family where Shiva challengas his two sons to go around the world and get the precious fruit from him. While Muruga Starts travelling around Vinayaga goes around his father and mother and declares that they are the world and by going around them he has gone around the world. Similar manner the single leper takes the right route by going straight to the high priest, Jesus.
    Enjoy reading the blog

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  2. EMPTY, That was a good comparison!
    Thanks for the feedback and the insight.

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  3. I think Divine grace is often found extended to the 'gentiles' because their faith is unjaded and unfettered by narrow interpretations and rules of the book. Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. (Matt 5:8)

    Thanks a lot for the post, Uncle. And an extraordindary association with the date!

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  4. Thank you, Lo, for your feedback.

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