Thursday, November 26, 2015
Reflection: Luke 17:11-19
Thanksgiving Day – Luke 17:11-19
On this day of Thanksgiving, the Gospel reading is the account of Jesus healing the ten lepers. Jesus was traveling through Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village ten individuals with leprosy came to meet him. Naturally they kept their distances from him as they were considered “ritually unclean.” In the book of Leviticus it is written: "The leper who has the disease shall wear torn clothes and let the hair of his/her head hang loose, and he shall cover his upper lip and cry, ‘Unclean, unclean.’ The leper is unclean as long as the disease is active and s/he shall dwell alone outside the camp.” (Leviticus 13: 45-56) Sad to say, leprosy is still active in our modern world. We also have modern day versions of leprosy such as AIDS and other severely contagious or disfiguring diseases. These diseases typically isolate the men and women who have contracted the disease.
In today’s Gospel only one of the lepers returned to thank Jesus for his miracle. All 10 of the lepers were healed but only this man returned to Jesus with a heart full of gratitude and praise. Jesus had given him a great gift, a gift he never expected. How could he not thank Jesus? Yet, there were nine other lepers who also were healed. Why did they not return to thank Jesus?
Today we celebrate Thanksgiving. On this special day Americans typically gather with family and friends to enjoy a delicious dinner and one another’s company. However, are we mindful of thanking Jesus/God/the Spirit for the many blessings we have been given? Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday. However, we may not always express our thanksgiving to the God who blesses us abundantly. Today thank the people in your life who nurture you, love you and accept you for who you are. What a great gift they give you! And thank Jesus for the many ways He graces and strengthens you! Have a blessed and happy Thanksgiving!