WISDOM 6: 1 – 11
Listen, O kings, and understand; learn, O judges of the ends of the earth. Give ear, you that rule over multitudes, and boast of many nations. For your dominion was given you from the Lord, and your sovereignty from the Most High, who will search out your works and inquire into your plans. Because as servants of his kingdom you did not rule rightly, nor keep the law, nor walk according to the purpose of God, he will come upon you terribly and swiftly, because severe judgement falls on those in high places. For the lowliest man may be pardoned in mercy, but mighty men will be mightily tested. For the Lord of all will not stand in awe of any one, nor show deference to greatness; because he himself made both small and great, and he takes thought for all alike. But a strict inquiry is in store for the mighty. To you then, O monarchs, my words are directed, that you may learn wisdom and not transgress. For they will be made holy who observe holy things in holiness, and those who have been taught them will find a defence. Therefore set your desire on my words; long for them, and you will be instructed.
The Word of the Lord.
Psalm 82: 3 – 4, 6 – 7 (R.) 8a.
R/. Arise, O God; judge the earth!
Do justice for the weak and the orphan;
Give justice to the poor and afflicted.
Rescue the weak and the needy;
Set them free from the hand of the wicked. R/.
I have said to you, “You are gods,
and all of you, sons of the Most High.
And yet, like men you shall die;
You shall fall, like any of the princes.” R/.
1st Thessalonians 5: 18
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Was no one found to return and give praise to God except his foreigner?
LUKE 17: 11 – 19
On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, leave mercy on us.” When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then said Jesus, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
GOSPEL REFLECTION: Thank You, My Lord
November 15, 2023
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.” (Luke 17:17–19)
This reply from our Lord came in response to the one leper who returned to Jesus to thank Him. Ten lepers had come to Jesus, stood at a distance, cried out, “Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!” And with that, Jesus healed them all. But the heart of this healing is not as much the healing itself as it is the gratitude expressed by only one of the ten.
This Gospel relates to us that this one leper did five things to profoundly express his gratitude. He returned, glorified God, did so in a loud voice, fell at the feet of Jesus, and thanked him. What a wonderful witness for us all!
By analogy, children often take the loving care of their parents for granted. That’s why many good parents regularly remind their children to say “thank you.” In our relationship with God, we can also easily take God’s saving actions for granted. We can easily see all the grace we receive as something we deserve rather than as an infinitely merciful gift. When that happens, we become more like the other nine who failed to properly express their gratitude to Jesus.
First of all, it must be noted that expressing gratitude to God is not done because God needs these accolades. He does not depend upon our gratitude to affirm His self-worth. This is obvious. God is God, and He does not need our praise in any way. However, giving profound praise and glory to God is essential. It is essential because we need this virtue of gratitude so as to daily be reminded that all we receive from God is an unmerited gift. We cannot earn His love and grace. We do not deserve it. But He chooses to bestow it anyway out of mercy. And the only appropriate response to mercy is gratitude. Profound gratitude.
Gratitude is essential because it is the truth. We should always return to our Lord after He has graced us. We should glorify Him with much fervor, crying out to Him with passion. We should, literally and interiorly, fall on our face before Him, at His feet, and thank Him, over and over and over again. Doing so will always help us to remember the truth that everything we have and everything we are is a gift from God. An unmerited and undeserved gift of grace.
Reflect, today, upon the depth of gratitude in your own heart. Do you often act more like a spoiled and selfish child, or do you regularly perceive the graciousness of God? If you lack in any way this fullness of gratitude, then ponder this one leper. His gratitude, expressed with the fullness of passion, is the most important part of this story. In the end, he was graced far more than the other nine because his healing produced faith; and it was that faith that saved not only his body but his soul. Seek to save your soul by imitating the faith of this one holy and healed leper.
My gracious Lord, You bestow Your mercy upon me in superabundance. Without You, Jesus, I have nothing; but with You, I receive everything. May I always know and understand my need for Your grace. And as I am gifted with it, may I respond with the deepest gratitude, thus, saving my soul through faith. Jesus, I trust in You.