Epistle: Galatians 3. 16-22; Gospel: St. Luke 17. 11-19
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Jesus cures ten, but only one returns to give thanks. "Were not all
ten made clean? The other nine, where are they? No one, it seems, has come
back to give glory to God but this foreigner."
The teaching of Christ here is not about the healing of the flesh, it
is of a far greater and more precious gift: the grace of God in faith in
Christ Jesus. God's gift of faith in the Son of Man is poured out freely
for all, regardless of race. The working of his grace is seen here in the
gratitude of the Samaritan. He who was thought to be socially repulsive,
and an outcast even before he contracted leprosy, shows the dignity of
faith in returning to give thanks to Christ. "Rise, and go your way, your
faith has saved you."
How often do our prayers turn to the theme of thanksgiving to God? Or
does our concern for present needs and wants cloud our remembrance of past
gifts and blessings?
Thanksgiving characterizes the prayer of the Church which, in celebrating
the Eucharist, reveals and becomes more fully what she is. Indeed, in the
work of salvation, Christ sets creation free from sin and death to consecrate
it anew and make it return to the Father, for his glory. The thanksgiving
of the members of the Body participates in that of their Head. (CCC 2637)
As in the prayer of petition, every event and need can become an offering
of thanksgiving. The letters of St. Paul often begin and end with thanksgiving,
and the Lord Jesus is always present in it: "Give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you"; "Continue steadfastly
in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving." (1 Thess 5:18; Col
4:2) (CCC 2638)
I look forward to meeting you here again next week as, together, we
"meet Christ in the liturgy",
Used with the permission of Fr. Cusick from his website.