“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson: (1803 –1882: was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet)
Gospel Text: (LK 17:11-19)
As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem,
he traveled through Samaria and Galilee.
As he was entering a village, ten persons with leprosy 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.”
Today is Thanksgiving, in the U.S. It’s a day we deliberately set aside for giving thanks. Families gather together, we get a long weekend from work. There’s a big family meal, and even if we don’t regularly say grace before meals, we say grace at Thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving we’re thankful for food and family, for our work (and the long weekend off of work), for all our blessings.
Our readings today focus on the theme of giving thanks. They’re about all the Thanksgiving things – thanking God for our lives and the blessings we have, thanking God for all creation, for Jesus who saved us, for all the wonders of the world. Reading these passages from Mass makes me think about thankfulness and Thanksgiving, and especially makes me think that while it’s nice to set aside a day for thankfulness, and it’s really nice to get a long weekend and have a day that’s intended for families to get together and share a meal, shouldn’t every day be thanksgiving?
In the Gospel when Jesus heals the ten lepers, only one comes back to thank him. Granted, he told them to go show themselves to the priest, but as they went, they realized that they were healed. Only one came back to say thank you. Ten were healed. Where are the rest?
We experience God’s glorious creation every day. Every day we experience Jesus’ healing and love. And every day we should be giving thanks. We should give thanks today on Thanksgiving. And we should give thanks tomorrow, because we will have just as much reason to be thankful.