jesus speaks to the ten lepers

Reflection on the Healing of the Ten Lepers According to the Gospel of Luke

The Reflection on the Healing of the Ten Lepers according to the Gospel of Luke focuses on a healing miracle of Jesus.

As Jesus is journeying toward Jerusalem, He encounters ten lepers as enters a village. They beg him for help, and he heals them in a surprising fashion.

The Gospel Account

You can find the story of the healing of the ten lepers in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 17, verses 11-19.

Click on this link to view the Gospel passage using the New American Bible translation.

The Five Decades

When you pray the five decades of this Rosary Reflection, use these five moments from the healing story of the Gospel. Read the Gospel verses for each decade and let the words sink in as you pray that decade.

First Decade: Jesus’ Journey (Luke 17:11)

As he continued his journey to Jerusalem, he traveled through Samaria and Galilee.

Second Decade: Jesus Encounters the Ten Lepers (Luke 17:12-14)

As he was entering a village, ten lepers met [him]. They stood at a distance from him and raised their voice, saying, “Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!” And when he saw them, he said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” As they were going they were cleansed.

Third Decade: The Samaritan Returns (Luke 17:15-16)

And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. He was a Samaritan.

Fourth Decade: Jesus’ Response (Luke 17:17-18)

Jesus said in reply, “Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?”

Fifth Decade: Jesus Affirms the Healed Samaritan (Luke 17:19)

Then he said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.”

What to Remember

At the time of Jesus, lepers were outcasts from the Jewish community. They were required to separate themselves from healthy people and yell “Unclean!” to warn others not to touch them.

This Gospel story shows the compassion of Jesus to restore the sick in their physical health and their place in the community. Jesus experiences only one of ten returning to give thanks to God, a Samaritan. (Samaritans were despised by the Jews.)

The Gospel narrative of Luke shows the compassion of Jesus who extended his healing power to even those who were unwelcome in society. As a follower of Jesus, you have the privilege to pray for the outcasts of society: victims and perpetrators of racism, prejudice, those with mental illness, or other ailments that separate them from contact with others.

When you listen to the words of this Gospel passage and take those words to heart, you grow towards a deeper realization of Jesus’ compassion, that you can extend to those in your life.

Here are a few intentions to pray for:

  • For healing, peace, reconciliation with outcasts in your family and neighborhood.
  • For those with chronic, lifelong illness and disabilities who are excluded from normal friendships.
  • For those who are cut off from society, those in prison, nursing homes or poor living situations.
  • For great compassion and outreach for those who have excluded the poor from their lives.

Feel free to pray the rosary using this Gospel when you want more compassion and understanding of God’s mercy alive and active in the world.

When This Gospel Appears

Luke’s Gospel account of the Healing of the Ten Lepers occurs in the Gospel reading on Thanksgiving Day. The latest appearance was of the Gospel was on Thursday, November 25, 2021.

* Scripture passages are from the United Conference of Catholic Bishops website,

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