BY: Fr. Christian Eze

First reading- 2Kg 5:14-17
Second reading-2 Tim 2:8-13
Gospel- Lk 17:11-19
“One love, one heart, let’s get together and feel alright”. This wonderful song of Bob Marley from his album EXODUS is a ringing tone I assigned to calls from family members. It woke me up yesterday morning to receive a call from my niece. I got to reflect on it even after answering her call. Surprisingly, it linked me to the gospel of today and shifted my thoughts away from the ever popular attention on the “Thankful heart” of the leper that came back. My interest was rather drawn to the collective heart of these ten lepers united together in prayer, calling Jesus with one heart, one mind “Son of David, take pity on us”. See how fitting it is. They came together and prayed to the Lord and they became alright.

It is a common experience that many are prone to remembering God when things go wrong than when everything is going on well. People tend to become more religious when they are in desperate need and God seems to be the only hope left. It is not surprising therefore, how Namaan in the first reading sought the God of Israel all the way from Syria. Perhaps he had tried out so many things which faild. No wonder still, the ten lepers recognized Jesus when they were in a great need. They were so united as they sought solutions. But as soon as they were healed, they forgot Jesus, and every man went, each his own way.

At any rate, let us first look at their togetherness in calling on Jesus who healed them before we take the topic of returning to give thanks, may be another day.In the ugly situation of our country, in the tearful events that hit some families today, how often have we tried putting our hands together to pray to the Lord? May be selfishness or self centetedness would not allow us. Some families are not even united much less coming together to pray. It is a pity some blood brothers and sisters are not in talking terms. Believe me; the healing of such families is still very far. I am not a prophet of doom, but I am afraid, they might remain in their leprous conditions till they agree to come together else they would be eaten up. Yes, God’s own Words are “then if my people who bear my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my presence and turn from their wicked ways, I myself will hear from heaven and forgive their sins and restore their land” 2 Chron 7:14. Jesus too emphasized the need for praying together when He said: “I tell you solemnly, once again [meaning He had said it before], if two of you agree on earth to ask anything at all, it will be granted to you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three meet in my name, I shall be there with them” Mtt 18:19-20. Take up a common prayer pattern today starting from your family. Naaman united with his household (even a çommon house maid, we would say) and he got heald . The ten lepers came together and were all cured. God will take away that leprous conditions if only we agree to come together. We would be alright.
As a matter of fact, Bob Marley is a Christian. He has preached to me today. Even if you don’t believe my words, believe Marley’s preaching. Let’s sing along with Him for real:

One Love! One Heart!
Let’s get together and feel all right.
Hear the children cryin’ (One Love!);
Hear the children cryin’ (One Heart!),
Sayin’: give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right;
Sayin’: let’s get together and feel all right. Wo wo-wo wo-wo!
Let them all pass all their dirty remarks (One Love!);
There is one question I’d really love to ask (One Heart!):
Is there a place for the hopeless sinner,
Who has hurt all mankind just to save his own beliefs?
One Love! What about the one heart? One Heart!
What about – ? Let’s get together and feel all right
As it was in the beginning (One Love!);
So shall it be in the end (One Heart!),
All right!
Give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right;
Let’s get together and feel all right.
One more thing!
Let’s get together to fight this Holy Armagiddyon (One Love!),
So when the Man comes there will be no, no doom (One Song!).
Have pity on those whose chances grows t’inner;
There ain’t no hiding place from the Father of Creation.
Sayin’: One Love! What about the One Heart? (One Heart!)
What about the – ? Let’s get together and feel all right.
I’m pleadin’ to mankind! (One Love!);
Oh, Lord! (One Heart) Wo-ooh!
Give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right;
Let’s get together and feel all right.
Give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right;
Let’s get together and feel all right.

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