Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!

Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost—3 September AD 2017
Ave Maria!

“Go and show yourselves to the priests.”

Ordinary of the Mass
English Text
Latin Text

Please pray for Alfie Evans, 14 Months old ,
another hostage of socialized medicine in Britain.

Please join us in the Fifty-four day Rosary Novena
For the return of Christian civilization under Christ the King and Mary His Queen.


[W]ith a loud voice glorifying God … he fell on his face before His feet, giving thanks: and this was a Samaritan.[1]

    You may have noticed that many of our Lord’s parables praise someone who would be considered “lower class” by most of His listeners.  The Samaritans were foreigners who inhabited the territory south of Galilee.  Centuries before, the Assyrians forced the Jews of the region into captivity, and replaced them with their own people. [2]  These Samaritans were never fully assimilated.  They adopted the Jewish religion, but had their own Temple on Mount Gerizim, which the Jews considered a reproach to the Temple of God in Jerusalem.

    The “publican” who played the lower class to the Pharisee a few weeks ago was a tax collector.  No one likes to pay taxes—and worse yet—the publicans were collecting taxes for the hated Roman occupational forces.[3]

    Jesus even praised one of the Roman officers, the Centurion who said he wasn’t worthy to have Jesus enter his house.[4]  “Amen I say to you, I have not found so great faith in Israel.”

    The point of all of this is that Jesus wants us to judge people by their actions and their intentions, and not by their nationality, their race, or their class.

    Now, in today’s Gospel He is dealing with lepers.  Leprosy affected people of every position, high and low.  It was a terrible disease that caused parts of the living body to rot away.  In Jewish culture, disease was associated with sin—we would call sickness and death consequences of original sin—but the leper was feared, more than he was reviled as a sinner.  He was forced to live apart from society, to be identified by tattered clothing, and to warn people away by ringing a bell or crying out “unclean.”  Even if the disease left him, the leper could not just decide that he was cured and return to society.

    The science of the day had no cure for leprosy.  Occasional cures were all considered divine miracles.  As God’s representatives, the priests of the Temple (the sons and grandsons of Moses’ brother Aaron) were the only ones who could certify that a leper had actually been cured.  The Old Testament book of Leviticus devotes two chapters to diagnosis and to the sacrifices required to be offered by one declared to be clean.[5]  A week after his cleansing, the leper would return to offer a number of lambs and some fine wheaten flour for his sins.

    In developed countries modern medicine is able to control the spread of leprosy—thankfully, most of us will never encounter a case of the disease.[6]  Yet leprosy has such amazing similarity to serious sin, and ought to serve as an incentive to avoid sin and its natural consequences.

    Biblical leprosy often led to early death—sin will lead to eternal damnation.

    Biblical leprosy led to death by desensitizing the victim, who couldn’t feel pain in his deadened limbs, and couldn’t see with his blind eyes—likewise sin desensitizes sinners, who become addicted to their pleasures and lusts.

    Biblical leprosy broke the relationships of family and society as people became loath to associate with the “unclean”—sin does the same, for people become loath to associate with those addicted to cheating, stealing, beating, lying, and other foul behaviors.  Pronounced sinful behavior cannot be hidden any more than leprosy can be hidden.

    Biblical leprosy could not be cured by the leper’s own efforts—like sin it required God’s grace, the intervention of the priest, and a sacrificial/sacramental repentance.

We are all under the scourge of original sin.  We all suffer from concupiscence and the lack of clear thinking necessary to avoid sin.  We should never imagine that we are any better in this respect than the Samaritan or the publican, or the centurion, or the leper.  Prayer, fasting, and frequent reception of the Sacraments are absolutely necessary for eternal salvation.

And, like the Samaritan in the parable, we should constantly be returning to Jesus to thank Him for our Redemption, to thank Him for accepting our prayers and fasts, and to thank Him that the Sacraments are still freely available to us.


[W]ith a loud voice glorifying God … he fell on his face before His feet, giving thanks: and this was a Christian



[2]   About 740 BC  The Assyrian homeland areas are "part of today's northern Iraq, southeastern Turkey, northwestern Iran and northeastern Syria".

[3]   Cf. Tenth Sunday after Pentecost:  Luke xviii: 9-14

[5]   Leviticus xiii & xiv,



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