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|Archbishop Averky (Tauchev)|
Explanation of the four Gospels
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This miracle was performed by the Lord during His last travels from Galilee to Jerusalem, on the last day of the Sabbath holiday, when He was crucified. The group of ten lepers “who stood afar off,” because the law banned them from coming close to healthy people, began to plead in a loud voice for the Lord to show mercy on them. The Lord directed them to go and show themselves to the priests. This meant that through His miraculous powers, He is curing them of their leprosy, because He was sending them to the priests so that they — according to the law — may attest to their cure. This was followed by a sacrificial offering and permission to live freely in the community. Their submissiveness to the Lord’s words — to appear before the priests for their witness — shows their active faith. And indeed, along the way, they noticed their leprosy leaving them. However, as is often the case, having received their cure they forgot the Source of their joy, and only one of them — the Samaritan — returned to thank the Lord for his cure. This event shows that although the Jews despised the Samaritans, the latter sometimes stood higher than them. Saddened, the Lord inquired with a short rebuke: “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner/” These nine are a live example of people’s ingratitude to a Benevolent God.