Thursday, November 27, 2014

Reflection: Luke 17:11-19

Thanksgiving Day – Luke 17:11-19

Today we have a welcome break from the somber readings that we hear as our current liturgical year comes to a close. Today we celebrate Thanksgiving Day, which has a completely different tone. As is appropriate on Thanksgiving Day, the Scripture readings reflect the goodness and generosity of our loving God!

The Gospel chosen for Thanksgiving Day is the story of the 10 lepers. We know this story well. Jesus was traveling throughout Samaria and Galilee and as he entered one of the villages, ten lepers approached him. They must have heard stories of the many wonders and miracles Jesus had performed. As soon as they see him, they cry out to Jesus and they beg him to have pity on them. (Remember that in the time of Jesus, lepers were considered unclean and dangerous. They were exiled from the community.)

Jesus heard their cry and plea but He did not perform the miracle they had hoped for. He did not immediately cure them. Rather, Jesus instructed the lepers to go to the Temple and present themselves to the priests. That is all He said to them. I wonder if the lepers were disappointed in Jesus’ response. They had heard of the wonders and miracles he had performed!

However, as the lepers began to leave, one of them realized that he had been healed! Immediately he turned around and went back to Jesus. He immediately fell to his knees, thanking and praising Jesus. What a wondrous, amazing and life-changing gift Jesus had given him! Imagine how the leper must have felt. Now he could return home to his family. He no longer would be exiled! What a wondrous gift he received!

Each and every day Jesus also gifts us abundantly. At times I also do not recognize or notice the gifts Jesus has given me. I may be preoccupied with my problems or worries! Or I am too busy with one task or another! Often I simply don’t notice the small yet valuable gifts and blessings that I have been given.

On this day of Thanksgiving may we strive to be aware and mindful of the abundance of gifts God has given to us! May we also resolve to consciously look for our blessings each and every day. And may we remember to thank the “One” who gifted us!

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