God and the Milky Way

As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, they called out, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were made clean. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?”

As our solar system spins and orbits within the 180,000 light year expanse of the Milky Way galaxy, it could be easy to imagine ourselves so insignificant that wonder how could God really care about us, about you and me. How can it be that God cares about us, and what proof might exist?

The story about from the Gospel according to St. Luke is such proof. The passage is generally used to indicate the importance of thankfulness for the gifts God has given us. But there are other meanings to the passage. One of them tells us that God wants to be involved in our lives.

The passage is about the healing of lepers, or people with some kind of severe skin ailment. It can also be interpreted to mean that God wants to help make us whole, make us people who can fulfill His purpose for us. God is not some distant deity who does not bother with humanity.

When we succeed, He’s there to celebrate with us. When we fail, He’s there to pick us up, dust us off, and set us off to try again. When we’re lonely or frustrated or unhappy for some reason, God is there for us. The lepers show us the way. “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” On another occasion, Jesus said, knock, and it will be opened to you.