Today’s Gospel: Luke 17, 11-19 – Thanksgiving Day
In today’s gospel for Thanksgiving Day Jesus asks the grateful Samaritan, “Where are the other nine?” For years I’ve heard priests preaching about this diseased man and how wonderful it is that he runs to Jesus after his healing, shouts of thanksgiving coming from his mouth. They usually exhort us to practice continual gratitude for the abundant blessings God bestows on us each and every day. Not a bad message. A wonderful one, in fact.
But have you ever noticed that nobody actually answers Jesus’ question, “Where are the other nine?” I’m wondering where they are. Jesus healed them, so they must have noticed a significant change in their well-being from leprosy to health. Maybe they thought they deserved God’s healing touch and so didn’t need to say thank you. Maybe they realized that if they stop to acknowledge God’s action they might be challenged to repentance and conversion. Maybe they just didn’t know what to say in the face of such mercy.
All ten lepers encountered Jesus. They were close enough to call to him, “Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!” When Jesus had pity and healed them, nine were done. They received what they wanted and were on their way. The Samaritan wanted more. His encounter with Jesus left him thankful and desiring to let Jesus into his life in a deeper way.
Sometimes I’m like the grateful Samaritan, full of love and gratitude for God’s action in my life; but at other times I’m like the nine who went their own way. Most of the time I’m somewhere in between, trying my best to follow Jesus but often falling short. Thank you, God, that no matter where we fall, Jesus continues to say to us, “your faith has saved you.”
Where do I see myself in today’s gospel? How is God calling me to deepen my encounter with him today?
Lord Jesus, I lift my voice in praise of your mercy on this Thanksgiving Day. Grant me the faith and grace I need to encounter your healing love in my life.
Copyright 2016 Sister Hosea Rupprecht, FSP
Sister Hosea Rupprecht, FSP, is a Daughter of St. Paul with the Pauline Center for Media Studies. She speaks on media literacy and faith to catechists, parents, and youth. She co-hosts Searchlight, a Catholic movie review show on Catholic TV and authored How to Watch Movies With Kids: A Values-Based Strategy. Her movie review blog can be found at catholicmediamusings.blogspot.com.