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Thanking and remembering

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AS Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem, he traveled through Samaria and Galilee. As he was entering a village, ten lepers met him. They stood at a distance from him and raised their voice, saying, “Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!” And when he saw them, he said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” As they were going they were cleansed. And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. He was a Samaritan. Jesus said in reply, “Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?” Then he said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.”

* * *

One healed leper, a Samaritan, returns to thank Jesus. The point of the story is the importance of giving thanks (in Greek, eucharisteo, very similar to the Eucharist, which is a thanksgiving prayer).

When Jesus heals the ten lepers, he tells them to present themselves to the priests in Jerusalem. When one of them realizes he has been healed along the way, he goes back to Jesus to thank him. They were not told to do so, but this man does it spontaneously. The Samaritan sees something more than his miraculous healing. He sees God in Jesus. He has the eyes of faith. His faith contributes to his healing.

The nine proceed to the Temple. Are the nine ungrateful because they do not return to Jesus? Not necessarily. They proceed to the priests to inform them of their healing. The priests must deduce that an extraordinary guy is on his way to Jerusalem. They will soon see him. They must rethink their stance about their faith and religion, when they encounter him.

We may presume that the nine are also thankful to God for their healing. They are again allowed to worship with the community, singing psalms of thanksgiving.

We must acknowledge God’s countless blessings and gifts of healing for us. Gratitude is one way to be pleasing to God.

In the Second Reading, Paul reminds Timothy to remember Jesus Christ, who has done so much more. Jesus gave his life on the Cross that we may obtain not just healing but salvation. Thanking Jesus is remembering him.

* * *

SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2018,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: books@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.

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