This Sunday’s Gospel (Luke 17:11-19) Our Lord encounters a group of lepers. Their suffering was more than their physical disfigurement and physical well being; they were also rejected by others. Our Lord cured all ten of them but only one returned to Him. Furthermore, he was a Samaritan, who as people, are hated by the People of God. As I preached last week: how human it is of us to cry out to God in times of need, and then accuse God of not listening, and then in good times, to forget God.
The Samaritan got the full benefit from his encounter with Jesus because he showed gratitude. “Stand up, your faith has saved you” he was told. Gratitude is defined as ‘the virtue by which a person acknowledges, interiorly and exteriorly, gifts received and seeks to make at least some return for the gift conferred. Essentially gratitude consists of an interior disposition, a grateful heart, but when genuine it tries somehow to express itself in words and deeds. Consequently it includes three elements: acknowledgment that a gift has been received, appreciation expressed in thankfulness, and as far as possible some return for what has been freely given with no obligation on the donor’s part’*. We would do well to reflect on how the Mass teaches us this virtue.
Sometimes we only dream about what we do not have. Perhaps it is time to count our blessings again.
God bless, Fr Michael