The Grace of Gratitude

Luke 17:11-19
Tim 3:1-7 / Ps 23: 1- 6

Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine?
(Luke 17:17)

The reason why the world’s in strife:
We don’t thank God the way we should;
The secret to a happy life
Is a heart full of gratitude.

As Jesus continued His journey to Jerusalem through Samaria and Galilee, ten lepers met Him in a certain village. Standing at a distance from Him, they called out, “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. Then one of them, realizing that he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice. He fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked Him. He was a Samaritan. Jesus said, “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 17:11-19)

Reflection

Only one healed of leprosy came back to thank Jesus. The other nine were probably so excited about being freed at last from the scourge of leprosy and being healthy and clean once again that they could hardly wait to tell the good news to their family and friends. In their joy and excitement they forgot to stop and thank the Source of their miraculous healing. Thus, their healing was incomplete. They were healed physically, but only one was healed both physically and spiritually. In their lack of gratitude, the other nine lost their chance to gain the greater gift of eternal life.

This is essentially the message that today’s Gospel of Luke imparts. God’s generosity is multiplied in a grateful heart. Many people neglect to thank God once they have received what they are praying for. How would you feel if the person who received your favor never even took the trouble of thanking you? If we displease God with our ingratitude, don’t be surprised if our blessings are short-lived.

Gratitude is the best attitude. Only one out of ten people live to the ripe old age of ninety or more. This healthy ten percent of the population are those who most likely possess thankful hearts. Not many people are aware of the power of this grace called thankfulness. The reciprocal action of a grateful heart can result in exponential returns. They have no problem getting to sleep, and sleeping soundly, they wake up bright and early and ready to face the day. Studies have shown that those who count their blessings feel good about themselves, and seem to be in a state of perpetual joy. They are less prone to contract illness than those who are always complaining, and they have less interpersonal and social problems.

From the moment they wake up, grateful people praise and thank the Lord for another day, and keep in mind the blessings of the Lord in their lives, even for the little things that most people take for granted. Even for the pains and difficulties, problems and emotional hurts that they receive from others, they still thank the Lord for them, if only because these give them the opportunity to share in the cross of Jesus, and draw them closer to Him. These are the people who are truly blessed. Their wounds heal faster, their lives are happier, and they live longer. Let us learn how to be grateful in everything, for gratitude is the food of our soul, and the vitamin of our faith. Give praise to God, for this grace is a gift from Him.

I will bless the Lord at all times; praise shall always be in my mouth. My soul will glory in the Lord that the poor may hear and be glad. Magnify the Lord with me; let us exalt His Name together (Psa.34:2-4). Thank You, Father God, for healing us of the leprosy of ingratitude. Let our hearts be grateful for all Your blessings all the days of our lives, that we may never tire in serving You through others. Amen.

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