Wednesday, November 13, 2013
God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say "thank you?"
“To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything He has given us - and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him. Gratitude therefore takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise of the goodness of God. For the grateful person knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference.” - Father Thomas Merton (Trappist monk)
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 lepers met him.
They stood at a distance from him and raised their voice, 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.
In the days of the Lord, lepers were totally marginalized. With some imagination, each one of us can reproduce the image of those outcasts in our own society, who also have names and surnames, like we do: immigrants, drug addicts, wrongdoers, AIDS victims, the unemployed, the destitute... Jesus wants to heal them, to remedy their suffering, to solve their problems; and He expects our unselfish, free, efficient collaboration... for love.
We can also assume Jesus' lesson for us. For we are sinners and in need of forgiveness, we are beggars who depend totally on him. Would we be able to say like the leper in today’s gospel «Jesus, Master, have pity on me!» (cf. Lk 17:13)? Do we know how to turn to Jesus with a profound and confident prayer?
Do we imitate the cleansed leper that goes back to Jesus thanking him out loud? In fact, only «one of them, as soon as he saw he was cleansed, turned back praising God in a loud voice» (Lk 17:15). Jesus finds the other nine missing: «Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?» (Lk 17:17). St. Augustine captured this idea of giving thanks when he wrote: «‘Thank God!’: nothing shorter can be said (...) or made more efficiently than with these words». Accordingly, how do we thank God for the great gift of our life, and that of our family; for the grace of the faith, the Holy Eucharist, the forgiveness of sins...? Is it not true that quite often we do not thank him for the Eucharist, even though we may be frequently participating of it? The Eucharist is, no doubt, our best daily experience.
Posted by Joe Reciniello at 6:11 AM