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28TH SUNDAY: LUKE 17: 11-19

The main theme of today’s readings is about the attitude of gratitude! In the gospel reading, we heard that Jesus entered a village and ten lepers came out to greet Jesus. They were considered “unclean,” so they stood away from the people. When they saw Jesus, they raised their voices and cried out: “Jesus master! Have pity on us!” These ten lepers were moved by faith to approach Jesus for healing. Only one of them was enlightened by his faith to give thanks. Jesus told him “Rise up and go on your way. Your faith has saved you!”

In the gospel story, we can notice that until the lepers were healed, they prayed in the same faith and in the same voice. Even though the Jews and the Samaritans were considered to be enemies, but the illnesses and sufferings of these ten lepers united them and they prayed with the same voice and came to Jesus together, without looking at any differences between them. As a chaplain I see very often at the hospital, when the tragedies, crises, and serious illnesses of family members bring family come together and support each other and they forget their personal issues and differences and come to a peaceful atmosphere.

The other thing we can notice in the gospel story that after they were healed, nine of the lepers moved in a different direction. They had forgotten their style of prayer and the person, who had healed them. Only one person, who was a Samaritan, came back and expressed his deepest thanks to God. In our lives also, the same thing sometimes happens; we pray very seriously and faithfully for material things, healing of illness and happiness. Once we have received these things, we forget our lifestyle of prayer and forget God and the way by which we came. This story helps us to understand and differentiate real faith from superficial devotion; also, we should not forget the way we came!

The ten lepers had great devotion but only one had real faith and devotion. The other nine, after they were healed, they were showing the pious religious practices by visiting their religious leaders, instead of showing thankfulness to Jesus. Today, Jesus is asking the same questions to each of us: “Were not all ten made clean? Where are the other nine?” What would be our answers! Our challenge is either we can be with the nine of them or we can be like one who came to thanked God.

We have to be thankful and appreciative for what we have and we have to be creative! Always, think differently and positively with the attitude of gratitude! Enjoy our every day with hearts of gratitude and live life to the fullest! Let us count our blessings, not our troubles and take time to smell the roses. Our human nature we are so focused on complaining about things we don’t have that we lose sight of the things we have. We are blessed with many things but still we complained about everything and we are not happy. For there are lots of things we have to thankful to God.

Yes, we all need to be cleansed, to be healed, and to be made whole, human persons. We need to see that for God there are absolutely no lepers and no outsiders. Let us express our gratitude of gratitude to God by forgiving, loving, and showing His mercy and compassion to each of us! Let us remember the words of St. Mother Teresa, “Many of our blessings are hidden treasures! Count your blessings and not your troubles!”