Thursday of the Thirty-Third Week in Ordinary Time
“For greater things you were born.” (Ven. Mother Luisita)
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 19TH Lk. 19: 41-44 “As Jesus drew near Jerusalem, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, ‘If this day you only knew what makes for peace – but now it is hidden from your eyes.’”
- Gratitude makes for peace within one’s own heart and with others.
“The deadliest sin is ingratitude – the cause, beginning, and origin of all evils and sins.”
+St. Ignatius of Loyola
“No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks.”
+ St. Ambrose
“The secret of happiness is to live moment by moment and to thank God for what He is sending us every day in His goodness.”
“Thank God ahead of time.”
+ Bl. Solanus Casey
THE GRATITUDE OF THE ONE – OUT OF THE TEN (LUKE 17: 11-19) By Fr. Ed Broom, OMV
What a horrible physical condition, that of being afflicted with leprosy! Eyebrows disappearing, on one hand three fingers, a swollen eye with the vision totally lost, dark spots up and down the spine, and the coarse, shrill sound of a voice impaired through eroded vocal cords. All of these could be possible symptoms of the disease of leprosy.
Not only was this disease contagious, like the Corona Virus pandemic, but it basically had no vaccine, no possible way that Doctors or medicine could provide any sure remedy.
Adding to the gravity of the plight of the leper was the social stigma that magnified the problem. According to the Levitical Law, the lepers were forced to live isolated in what might be called Leper Colonies. Indeed they were social outcasts.
Perhaps the worst of all the sufferings of the person of the leper was a prevalent theological belief that the leper suffered this incurable disease because God was angry at him for something that he did or possibly something that a relative or ancestor did, and he was paying the consequences of this with the disease of leprosy.
Therefore, to contract the disease of leprosy at the time of Jesus was considered to be one of the worst sufferings that any individual could undergo. As mentioned, the suffering was experienced at various levels: physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, theologically, spiritually and morally. The last person that anybody wanted to see was a leper; worse yet, the last suffering anybody wanted to have to endure was the sickness, disease, and suffering of the plight of the leper. Indeed, it truly could be said, the leper was among the class of the living dead.
With this in mind, picture the scene of ten lepers in view of Jesus crying out with all of their strength: “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on us!” (Read and meditate on Luke 17:11-19) Moved to the very depths of his tender Heart, Jesus desires earnestly to heal their disease. He tells them to go to the priest and on the way they are healed, all ten lepers healed! This manifests with utmost clarity the infinite compassion, mercy, tenderness and kindness of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
In this group of ten lepers only one returns, and with the most noble heart he expresses overflowing gratitude for the loving concern and miraculous cure of Jesus the Divine Physician. Jesus willingly accepted this gratitude, but remarked: “Were there not ten that were healed, where are the other nine?” This one who was healed and profusely thanked Jesus was a foreigner, a Samaritan.
The ungrateful nine who never returned to render thanks to Jesus could easily be our situation. How many times have we been recipients of gifts, blessings, graces and we have failed to thank God and even to thank others? How many times have we simply failed to say those two words: Thank you!
True, Thanksgiving Day comes and goes every year at the tail end of November. However, as followers of the Lord Jesus, who so generously healed the ten lepers, thanksgiving should be all the days of our lives. Let us get into the habit of cultivating an attitude of gratitude. Let us form the habit of saying thanks for these gifts bestowed upon us. The following are ten concrete ways that we can cultivate an attitude of gratitude and live constantly thanking God. “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good; His mercy endures forever.” (107:1)
TEN WAYS THAT WE CAN RENDER THANKS TO OUR LOVING SAVIOR…
1. A NEW DAY: A NEW SUNRISE. Every day that we rise from sleep after a good night’s rest, we should thank God for His protection during the night and the gift of another day.
2. A NOURISHING MEAL. Many will go to bed hungry this night; some will even die from malnutrition and starvation. We should always bless the meal that God has provided for us through the hands and hard work of others. A child said this prayer during the Thanksgiving holiday: “God, I thank you that I can choose the food I eat!” How many people throughout the world have never even seen a Refrigerator? Or a sumptuous meal with multiple, delicious foods to choose from?
3. FRIENDLY AND SMALL WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT. Desolation is part and parcel of human existence and we all know of it from personal experience. How often has it happened that the Good Lord has rescued us from a state of desolation by sending some Good Samaritan along our path to give us a shining smile of friendship and encourage us by kind words? For these uplifting experiences we should express our gratitude to God.
4. SUFFICIENT HEALTH TO MOVE ON. As the years transpire, so health declines, but God intervenes with His powerful Presence and lifts us up and helps us move on despite our weakening frame and creaking structure. Never forget the words of the poet: “I complained because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet!” We will always bump into people who are worse off than us. Count your blessings!
5. TIME, TALENT, AND TREASURE. Render a heartfelt Thank You to God for the time, talent, and treasure that God has given to you right now. Show your gratitude in a concrete way by imitating the two servants in the Parable of the Talents who doubled their talents and returned them with interest to the Master. (Mt. 25: 14-28) May we never show ingratitude to God by laziness; rather, let us show our gratitude by hard work and diligent effort!
6. JOY! We must be constantly grateful for the many times that God has filled our hearts and minds with joy! This is a fruit of the Holy Spirit that becomes manifest when we correspond to the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Remember the acronym J.O.Y. = Jesus, Others, You!
7. The thought of HEAVEN that awaits God’s faithful followers should fill us with both joy and gratitude. Jesus expressed these most consoling words: “I am going to prepare a place for you now, so that where I am, you also might be. In my Father’s house there are many mansions.” (Jn. 14: 1-3) Constantly we should thank Jesus that He has gone to Heaven to prepare a place for us. Let us live in such a way that when we die, we are prepared to go to Heaven to be with Jesus!
8. ANGELS AND SAINTS. Today in many parts of the world, many people suffer a constant, crushing loneliness. They have an overriding feeling that nobody cares for them, nobody loves them. For followers of Jesus, this is never the case because we belong to a warm and loving family –the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Other important members of our family are the angels and the saints. They are the best of friends to us. We should form a constant habit of talking to them and thanking them for their friendship and assistance, for they are eager to help us whenever we ask them!
9. GOD’S MERCY AND PROVIDENCE. How can we ever go through a day without thanking God for His Divine Providence and His Infinite Mercy? By Providence we mean the simple fact that God provides for us, defends us, protects us, nourishes us, and simply cares for us as a loving Father—let us render thanks for His Divine Providence! Even though we are weak, fragile, and prone to fall many times a day, God is a loving and merciful Father who, when we ask for mercy, forgives us in a heartbeat. “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good; His mercy endures forever.” (Ps. 107:1)
10. MARY MOST HOLY: OUR LIFE, OUR SWEETNESS, AND OUR HOPE. Finally, let us never let a day go by in which we fail to talk to Mary as our loving Mother, as “our life, our sweetness, and our hope.” (Hail Holy Queen) How grateful we really should be that Mary is our Mother—she loves us, she prays for us, she cares for us, she protects us, and she will help us to pass from this life to the next in the state of grace. Then with our Mother Mary, we will thank God and praise God for all eternity!
Copyright 2020 Oblates of the Virgin Mary
St. Peter Chanel Church, Hawaiian Gardens, CA