Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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2 Kgs 5:14-17
2 Tm 2:8-13
Lk 17:11-19

Giving Thanks

The first reading begins with Naaman being cured of his leprosy by Elisha the prophet. The back story is from the previous section of 2 Kings. Naaman is a foreigner from another country. He heard about Elisha and the extraordinary works he performs so he decides to travel to Israel to seek out Elisha. When Elisha tells him to plunge himself seven times in the Jordan river Naaman becomes incensed because he expected some amazing action. Reluctantly he does as he is told and finds himself cured. In today’s reading Elisha refuses any gifts because he helped this foreigner without expecting anything in return.

In the gospel we hear about ten lepers who cry out to Jesus begging for healing. They are cured by Jesus. He tells them to take themselves to the temple to show themselves to the priests and they immediately leave him. One of the lepers, realizing he has been healed, turns back because he wants to glorify and thank Jesus for what he did for him. He fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. His gratitude is appreciated but Jesus asks where are the other nine. Again, the one cured is an outsider, a Samaritan.

How often are we like Naaman who was asked to do something simple but complained because that was not what was expected? How often do we receive good things in our lives like the nine lepers but give no thanks in return? If we take time at the end of each day to reflect on what happened in all the preceding hours we might be amazed at all we’ve received or experienced. Even the negative experiences can prove to be helpful in retrospect. If we took a few minutes each night to give glory and thanks to God for all that occurred during the day we would be very different than the nine lepers who gave no thanks.

Another important reminder from these readings is the faith that was necessary for the healing. We need to have faith to recognize the good gifts we receive from God. Hopefully, we will use each day to deepen our faith in God and to give thanks for all we receive.

The Gospel Acclamation from 1 Thessalonians states this clearly.         

In all circumstances, give thanks,
 for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.

Looking back at your life, what are some of the gifts or good experiences you have received?

What will help you to daily remember to give glory and praise to God?

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