The Word of God

Stand Up and Give Thanks


Reflection on Mass Reading for November 14, 2018

“Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?” Perhaps there is no other depiction from anywhere in the Bible which illustrates and highlights the depth of ingratitude. The sick, horribly-looking lepers came to Jesus with desperate longing and need; he cured them all and nine never came back to give thanks. So often, once a person gets what he or she wants, they never come back. What a painful experience to be on the receiving end of such selfish, egotistical behavior. Have you ever wondered what causes that?

The current level of detachment in our society could be a clue. We seem to be facing reality through a screen of some sort: smart devices, laptops, desktops, television, etc., all train us to take an almost inhuman step away from reality so as not to become too immersed with any real internal and integrated approach to life, you know, the way Jesus approached everyone in the Scriptures and how he deals with you and me right here, right now.

We can take our cue from the one leper who did in fact come back to give thanks to Jesus. He knew what happened to him. He knew what his healing meant for the rest of his life. He truly knew who healed him. Can you imagine what kind of life he lived after that? Jesus gives us the answer: “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.”

Let us consider some ways to learn how to be grateful: Take your focus off of yourself and consider the people God has placed around you (we need each other). Count your blessings from God (you will be amazed). Accept your emotional state: Feel-Deal-Heal. Welcome time alone as precious for growth with Jesus who did the same. Avoid comparing your life to others: you never really know what goes on behind the smiles. Shake the green monsters: envy and jealousy (open wounds of insecurity). Fight the desire to isolate and seclude yourself from others (wounds only fester). Avoid negative voices and situations (misery loves company).

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