On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, they called out, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were made clean.
Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
The nine lepers who obey Jesus’ instructions to “go show yourselves” do indeed experience physical healing. Yet, there seems to be something more that the grateful leper has received.
To be moved interiorly toward gratitude and to express praise to God can draw us closer, and keep us in humble and right relationship going forward. Therein lies the added blessing of the faith-filled leper.
Perhaps since it is easy to find ourselves among the “other nine,” St. Ignatius placed gratitude as the first movement of the daily Examen. As we in the United States assume the posture of the grateful leper today on Thanksgiving, may we be drawn deeper into relationship and may the Spirit stir in us a desire to love and serve God more generously. May we, too, place gratitude at the center of our prayer in order to sustain us on the journey ahead.
Thanksgiving Day Prayer
In a spirit of gratitude, we celebrate with family and friends.
We give thanks for those who are good to us.
We give thanks for those who were there to comfort
during trying situations.
And we give thanks for those
who remind us of your presence.
On this Thanksgiving Day, as we give thanks
for the light of your love, help us to be mindful
of those who will need us tomorrow.
—Fr. James F. Keenan, SJ
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