"Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner" is one of the oldest prayers Christians use. Every Sunday when you sing "Kyrie Eleison," you are literally praying "Lord, have mercy." What do we expect when we ourselves pray this prayer? When these lepers, outcasts in their community, addressed Jesus with this prayer, they hoped that their petition would be answered in their being cured of the disease that separated them from the rest of society. Their prayer request was answered, but most of them forgot that there are other important kinds of prayer. One former leper, a Samaritan, remembered and returned to give God a prayer of thanksgiving.
Even though we continually ask for God's mercy, we know that even before we ask God is ready to give it. For this reason our Kyrie Eleison is always followed by "Glory to God" or "Praise God from Whom all Blessings Flow" or simply "Hallelujah" ("God be praised"). Where do you live out your own life of Kyrie Eleison and Hallelujah?
Jesus, Master, have mercy on me. Every day I am in need of your grace, and every day I thank you for restoring wholeness in my life. Amen.
Luke 17:11-19 (NRSV)
11 On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee.
12 As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance,
13 they called out, saying, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!"
14 When he saw them, he said to them, "Go and show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were made clean.
15 Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice.
16 He prostrated himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan.
17 Then Jesus asked, "Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they?
18 Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?"
19 Then he said to him, "Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well."