October 13, 2019: Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Reading: Luke 17:11-19
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.”
Again this week faith can be seen as a focus of the gospel in addition to the virtue of gratitude. In preparation for the reading of the Gospel, we hear in the reading from the Book of Kings another healing of leprosy where the person healed is profoundly grateful and immediately proclaims the prophet’s God, the God of Israel, as the only God!
In the Gospel Jesus heals ten persons of leprosy, but only one returns to thank him. I have often wondered what happened to the others.
Did they not realize their healing? Were they specifically following Jesus’ instructions and hurrying to show themselves to the priest? Were they running to their families to share the great news of healing? We all express our gratitude in different ways — some with great outward rejoicing, some in quiet simplicity.
Gratitude, in whatever form it takes, builds in us the recognition that God is the giver of all gifts and also leads to an increase of our faith in that God.
This might be a good time to remember the practice of recalling, at bedtime, two or three occurrences within our day for which we are grateful.
A simple prayer of thanks can renew our gratitude, as well as increase our faith that God is pouring out love and blessings throughout our lives if we are aware and watchful.