11 Oct 28th Sunday In Ordinary Time
Dear friends in Christ,
The Scripture Readings today present the beauty of one of the great human virtues, gratitude. In these readings we’re told of the eleven people who were cured from their leprosy, one in the First Reading by the prophet Elisha, and ten in the Gospel by Jesus. However, only two returned to give thanks to those who healed them, both pagan, one was Naaman, the army commander of the king of Aram, and the other was from Samaria.
Naaman the pagan acted in a manner filled with gratitude. He returned “with his whole retinue” and said to Elisha, “Now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel.” Naaman believed that God was in charge of his life, and in doing so, his heart was filled with joy. In the Gospel story, realizing that only one of ten, a pagan, who returned to thank God, Jesus was clearly distressed, and asked, “Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine?”
Sometimes we wonder what is the missing virtue of our day? We live now in a society where people get so much and so easy of everything that they tend to forget the blessings they have. This Gospel story is meant to stir in our hearts the feeling of gratitude. Jesus wants to say how much he desires our hearts of gratitude, because there is good effect for those who show gratitude. In reality, the ungrateful person who feels that God has given him nothing will soon come to believe he is nothing. But the one who is always grateful to God will soon realize that he is something special.
Gratitude is the beauty of the human race, and the most beneficial Christian virtue. St. Paul in the Second Reading reminds us always to be grateful to God, saying, “What do you have that you have not received?” With heart full of joy and gratitude, we join the whole Church to proclaim at each Eucharist, “Father, it is our duty and our salvation, always and everywhere to give you thanks!”