The Lord is waiting for all of us to thank Him for the many blessings He has given us!


 

In today’s gospel we hear of the ten lepers crying out to Jesus to show “pity” on them. They are the poorest of the poor, most unclean of the unclean.  The untouchables.  The pitiful ones.

“…when He sees (saw) them” He mercifully, generously and lovingly heals all ten. Luke tells us that one of them, finding himself cured, turned back praising God and, prostrating himself, thanked Jesus. This passage is about gratitude. One side of the coin is showing gratitude, the other is failure to show it. In any relationship, recognizing the need for gratitude and saying thanks enhances the connection.

When it seems that all we can see is the effect of discrimination, corrupt politicians, and yes, even the policy of our governments, it’s hard to see beyond it all to the reign of God. When we go through difficult times, when society ignores us, it’s hard to see God’s plan. Like the nine lepers, it is hard to see that, because of Christ, we have been healed. It’s hard to look past this world of pain and see that Christ is bringing in a new world, that in heaven there won’t be all this oppression, suffering and pain. We read that, even if society doesn’t see the lepers, Christ sees them!

If you had been one of the ten lepers who were healed in today’s gospel, would you or I have returned to say “Thank You” to Jesus? I wonder. He told them to go and show themselves to the priests, which was the customary action which the law required for lepers who had been cleansed. Perhaps they planned to come back and thank Jesus after they had seen the priests?

The leper who returned to give thanks to Jesus was a Samaritan, despised by the Jews, which made him the oppressed of the oppressed. Despite all this, he saw past the way the world looked at him and recognized in Jesus’ look the one, who gave him dignity and promised him that dignity had been restored in him.

As for the Samaritan who was regarded as a foreigner and not one of the Jewish “chosen people,” he took time to come to Jesus and thank Him. Would you or I have done the same? It’s something to think about.
The most important relationship for us to nurture is our relationship with our creator God through Jesus. Expressing gratitude brings joy to both the receiver and the giver. Gratitude is most important in bringing us closer to God through Jesus. Any failure on our part to express words of gratitude in this spiritual setting places us alongside the nine who disappointed Jesus. We have much for which to be thankful. The Lord is waiting for all of us to thank Him for the many blessings He has given us!

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