November 10th, 2021

The Gospel According to Luke 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.” 

Opening Prayer: Almighty and merciful God, graciously keep from us all adversity, so that, unhindered in mind and body alike, we may pursue in freedom of heart the things that are yours. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever. Amen.

Encountering Christ:

The lepers were able to recognize their need and call on Jesus to help them. The men who were healed all realized their good fortune and rejoiced in it, being aware of where it came from. Only one took time to address himself to Jesus. Prayer is good when it consists of asking, receiving, recognizing, and appreciating it, but something is missing when it does not involve a humble return to give thanks to anyone who helps, especially Jesus. We come back to Jesus not just to give thanks, but ready to receive our mission. Jesus’ healing is a gift but may be given to us for others. We should always listen through prayer to hear his plans for us.

The leper who was healed appreciated the gift that he had received. Let us take time to recognize where we have been helped and spend some time in quiet thankfulness.

Jesus recognized the faith of the leper who saw the source of the goodness he had enjoyed. I see that sometimes my faith in demonstrated in how ready I am to see God at work and to attribute blessings to their source.

The greatest agony suffered by those with leprosy in the time of Christ was the isolation. Fear of the contagion led family and friends to ostracize them from their communities. They had to live either with other lepers or alone. Those with leprosy had to face their dreadful fate daily. They knew they would need a miracle, but for most of them, however, miracles were in short supply. 

They all wanted to be made clean, and they had the faith to make their request. Our Lord responded simply and generously, our petition becomes emotional and urgent: “Lord, help me!” And Our Lord always hears us. 

‘Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine?’” Perhaps the others became so excited by being cured that they immediately went to reintegrate with their family and friends to share their joy. While it may be somewhat understandable, the disappointment in Our Lord’s questions was evident. Jesus commanded that we come to him with our petitions, “Ask, and it will be given you” (Luke 11:9). However, when our needs are met, do we forget to thank him? Gratitude is a sign of humility. The attitude of gratitude draws us closer to God and can bring us great joy. 

Closing Prayer: Jesus, we have received countless gifts from your hands, some for which we have asked, and countless more for which we did not ask. Please forgive us for the times that we have taken your generosity for granted. May our gratitude toward you also move us to generosity towards others, and in so doing help us to reflect on your grace more completely. 

Action of the Day: Lord, today by your grace, help us to take the time to recognize where we have been helped and spend some time in quiet thankfulness. In addition to thanking you, I will also thank one other person in my life for what they have done for me.

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