Litany for Ten Lepers

The Lectionary passage for October 9 from the Gospels is Luke 17:11-19. It is the story of Jesus healing ten lepers. Of the ten healed, only one returns to worship at Jesus' feet and express gratitude. The lepers would have been considered the dregs of society, the forgotten, the most avoided. They kept their distance from Jesus, and yet they are recipients of his mercy even from afar. All ten were healed, but only the grateful one drew near to him to worship.

God, who sent Christ
Who has mercy on the leper, the foreigner, the unseen
On those who keep their distance
Hovering on the edges of society:

You bring the unclean near to you.
Draw us near, now, to your merciful love.

We want to be like the one who came back:
The one who receives healing with a grateful heart
Who asks for mercy, and in receiving it,
Rejoices and worships at your feet.

We thank you, Oh God,
You heal our diseases and make us clean.
You give a home to the homeless,
You give food and drink to empty bellies,
You care for the foreigner and the orphan.
You raise up those who are powerless and forgotten.
Thanks and praise are yours forever!
Peace and healing are in your hands.

May our hearts be attuned both to the mercy we may offer,
And to the mercy of God we receive daily in drawing close to Christ.