October 9, 2016: Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem, he traveled through Samaria and Galilee. As he was entering a village, ten lepers met him.
They stood at a distance from him and raised their voices, 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.
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.
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?”
Then he said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.” (Luke 17:11-19)
In Jesus’ time, the disease of leprosy made people outcasts – they could not be among the people of their community or their family. But Jesus’ mercy was strong and he immediately healed the persons with leprosy who asked him for healing. It did not matter whether they were foreigners or “unclean” – he reached out to them with love. But he wondered about why only one person came back and thanked him. God gives without cost but God also wants us to learn the virtue of a grateful heart. Do I have a grateful heart? As I live each day do I remember that thanksgiving is important – every day of our lives, not just on “Thanksgiving!”
How often do I thank those close to me – my parents, my teachers, my friends – for everything they do for me. When we were very little our parents prompted us to say “thank you.” But we are older now – ” thank you” can become an automatic yet meaningful response as we go through our day. Why not try to live each day and be aware of the gifts we are given in so many ways? And in our evening prayer we can remember those we may have forgotten to thank while at the same time letting God know how grateful we are for all our blessings.