Scripture: Lectionary 145 Sunday, Oct.13 C. II Kings 5:14-17. Psalm 98:1.2-3.3-4. II Timothy 2:8-13. Luke17:11-19:
Gratitude to God and acts of thanksgiving are the theme for this Sunday of the year. Even nature helps us to offer thanks to God as we experience the gentle sun of autumn upon our face, the colors bursting into flames of yellow, auburn, red, and other colors from the sunlit trees. We feel alive and more focused in these days of warmth during the day and moderate coolness during the evening and the night. Scripture helps us to be aware of what is going on in nature and also in our souls as we reflect on God’s goodness and generosity to us. We render thanks for all the graces and gifts we have received from our loving Creator.
We hear in the first reading a story about a military leader who is afflicted with leprosy. He is cured by the prophet Elisha and by the young Hebrew girl who suggested that her master seek out Elisha. After his complaints were settled he was cured by washing in the Jordan. He was so thankful to God that he begged to take earth from the land of Israel back to his own country so that he could worship on the ground of the one true God of the Israelites. He prayed and gave thanks. Naaman is forever remembered as we read this passage. God blessed not only the Chosen People but also the Gentiles who were open to God’s prophet and God’s power. God bestows graces not only on believers but also on the one’s who are led to believe because of human cooperation with prophets and servants of the Lord.
Luke gives us the event of ten lepers being cured by Jesus but only one returns to give thanks to the Lord. This Samaritan took time to return and give thanks for his cure. He reflected on God’s goodness to him rather than simply taking it for granted as the others seemed to do. We learn from this account of Luke to take time to render thanks to God not only for the beauty of these autumn days but also for the many graces and gifts we have received. Let us not take God and his generosity for granted.
Our Eucharist is a supreme act of thanksgiving, praise, and worship. We know that the word Eucharist actually means thanksgiving. We receive the Lord in Communion and have an opportunity to thank the Lord for some moments in silence or in singing. Let us not only be receivers but also givers. Let us give thanks to the Lord. Amen.
Copyright 2013 Fr. Bertrand Buby, S.M.