October 9, 2022: Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Gospel – Luke 17:11-19
NOTE: The translation from this week’s Gospel Reflection is from The Message.
It happened that as he made his way toward Jerusalem, he crossed over the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village, ten men, all lepers, met him. “They kept their distance but raised their voices, calling out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” Taking a good look at them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.”
They went, and while still on their way, became clean. One of them, when he realized that he was healed, turned around and came back, showing his gratitude, glorifying God. He kneeled at Jesus’ feet, so grateful. He couldn’t thank him enough – and he was a Samaritan.
Jesus said, “Were not ten healed? Where are the nine? Can none be found to come back and give glory to God except this outsider?” Then he said to him, “Get up. On your way, your faith has healed and saved you.”
I have a long practice of writing thank you notes. I can trace this back to my maternal grandmother. She must have instilled this practice in my mother and my aunts. Where else would it have originated? As a child, it felt like an obligation. In my life today, the action of writing to express my thanks to another is a true pleasure. Even in the short time it takes to jot a handwritten note, I notice a loving shift in my relationship with the receiving person. I have come to know how meaningful my notes are to others.
My notes are about gratitude, love, appreciation, joy and feeling seen and cared about by another. Most of my notes are to people I know. At times, I jot notes of gratitude to people I have never met. The responses I receive are a delight. Even when I receive no response, I imagine the person on the other side of a mailbox who smiles and goes about their day with renewed joy.
This passage reminds me about the importance of gratitude. I am also reminded of the long, slow process of healing taking place in each of us along our walks through life. There seems to be a deeply embedded connection here between acknowledging and expressing gratitude and healing.
Gratitude is a tenet of our Catholic faith. Your example of note writing and the notes you sometimes receive in response is wonderful gift in return. Note writing is not a common characteristic of contemporary life.
In the gospel passage Jesus identified the Samaritan as an “outsider.” The Samaritan that return provides a good example of being grateful. How glorious it would be to have experienced Jesus in that moment!
Thank you for this timely message… God Bless you, as you have blessed me!
I had 3 thank you emails I was about to send. Reading your reflection led me to hand write the expressions of gratitude. I appreciate the nudge.