Posted by: livingscripture | November 12, 2014

Thirty-second Wednesday in Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day

“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.’”

 (Luke 17: 15-19)               

 

How should we live this Word db_19-healing_of_the_leper1

Ten lepers come to beg Jesus to heal them.  He listens to them.  However, only a Samaritan comes back to thank Jesus who tells him clearly, ‘Your faith has saved you.’  Why does Jesus address these words only to one of the ten?  Jesus expects something from them too.  A miracle always presupposes a personal bond with Him.  Jesus heals so that He would be told a word of thanks that forges a personal relationship with Him.  If He cures from afar, it is so that the ten lepers will remember to retrace their steps, as He joyfully awaits them and establishes a relationship with them, and not so that they would definitively disappear in anonymity.  It is only then that the miracle can be fully accomplished.  It is then that health wholly returns both of body and spirit.  The other nine have only been healed imperfectly, half way.  It has remained only exterior and sterile, almost as though it had never happened because their heart has not been healed and they have not opened themselves to recognize Jesus and the work of His grace.

In a certain sense, giving thanks closes the circle of relationship with God, forming a bond with Him.  This is the most important thing.  Receiving a benefit is, at this point, secondary.   What is fundamental is entering into relationship with the Giver.  God wants us to feel His love, to recognize it because He does not limit Himself to giving us material gifts.  He wants to give us Himself.  Thus, thanking Him and recognizing His gifts allow us to enter into relationship with Him, completing the rapport that He first began with us and that cannot be perfected without the collaboration of our gratitude for His gift.

The action of grace is fundamental for this because it is recognizing that God loves us and this prevents us from egotistically enjoying His benefits, centering ourselves on our egos as happened to the other lepers who were healed and disappeared into oblivion.

Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I will continuously thank God for His many gifts and seek to be in ever more intimate contact with Him. 

Lord, I thank You for Your great love that is continually present in my life!

The voice of the Liturgy, Common Preface IV

It is truly right and just, our duty and the font of salvation, to praise You and thank You always for Your gifts, Omnipotent and eternal God.  You do not need our praise, but through a gift of Your love, You call us to give You thanks.   Our blessing hymns do not increase Your greatness, but obtain for us the grace that saves.

 

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