WEDNESDAY HOMILY FOR 32ND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME – YEAR A
THEME: A Simple Thank You
At Prayer, Mass at Gethsemane
Gospel – Luke 17: 11-19
The closer we get to the holidays, the more I am reminded of one simple memory from my childhood. It’s not putting up the Christmas decorations or scouring the woods for the tree; it’s not even Christmas morning and opening the presents. No, it’s the ‘thank-you’s’ we were expected to make.
Whether it was Christmas day and we were shuttled to the phone to thank the relatives for the presents or it was the thank-you cards we had to write out. Whatever form, the child in me always felt put out that I had to step away from all those wonderful new presents and say thank you! Times change, of course, and we all realize the importance of saying thank you, much less hearing those words from someone we love and cherish.
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So, in case I haven’t said it before or often enough, thank you! Whether this is the first time you’re reading these daily Gospel reflections or it’s your 1,340th (yes, really!) THANK YOU! I hope in some small way that the reflections have resonated with you and your life. Thank you!
A simple thank you! That’s all that was expected after Jesus cured the ten lepers in today’s Gospel. Given how lepers were shunned at the time, Jesus basically gifted them with a new life, a chance to return to their family and friends and start anew. Was that too much to ask? Were they just so caught up in the gift that they forgot a simple act of gratitude?
Maybe we, at times, are not all that different. We pray to God so often and FOR so many things – healing, peace, wisdom, patience, understanding, even financial security. But too often, I think we forget to offer a prayer of thanksgiving, of gratitude for His presence in our lives, for answering our prayers.
That one leper, a Samaritan, is the only one who returned to thank Jesus. And it wasn’t a simple handshake or a nod of the head or just a simple “thank you”. His gratitude was life-changing. He fell down on his knees praising God in a loud voice and thanked Jesus.
May our prayers of thanksgiving and gratitude always be as fervent and heart-felt as our prayers of petition!
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