Father Alex Yeung, LC
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Luke 17: 11-19
As Jesus continued
his journey to Jerusalem, he traveled through Samaria and
Galilee. As he was entering a village, ten lepers
met him. They stood at a distance from him and
raised their voice, saying, "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. And one of them, realizing he had
been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice;
and he fell at the feet of Jesus and
thanked him. He was a Samaritan. 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."
Prayer: I love you my Lord, because you are
love itself. Forgive all that is in me that does
not come from your love and does not reflect
your love. If I am to become what you
want me to be, it will happen only if I
allow you to act in me.
grant me the gift of gratitude towards you.
Receiver to Giver: These poor lepers are outcasts, banned
from communion with all society. Their only hope is
Christ. They have nothing to lose by asking, and so
they make their plea. Standing at a distance from
Christ, according to the law, they acknowledge their own
helplessness and beg for mercy. They receive it: Christ heals
them, and they go on their way, satisfied with
his gift. To our Lord’s dismay, however, only one
returns to give thanks. To give thanks in Greek is
EuXaristia. Only one is Eucharistic; only one is saved.
A Just Return: Our Lord rewards gratitude. Why is
our thanksgiving so important to God? In a way, by
showing gratitude we justly return to God what he
deserves. Take the example of the lepers: They are
helpless outcasts. They can’t do anything for themselves except
beg – much like our situation before God. We, too,
are spiritual lepers begging God’s mercy. If we were
to accept God’s gift without giving thanks, we would
be reduced to mere consumers of grace, incapable of giving
anything back. But God wants to save us from
that predicament, and he asks our thanksgiving, euXaristia.
Thanksgiving to Communion: What is the dynamic of thanksgiving?
When we give thanks, we are no longer passive
recipients; we become active givers, giving back to One who
has given us what we do not deserve. When
we become active givers, God places us on another level
– another level capable of receiving even more from
him. By giving thanks for what he had received,
the leper was capable of receiving more from God. Indeed,
he did receive more – he was saved. Saved
by God’s mercy, he was now capable of receiving
still more, of growing in intimacy with God. God invites
us into a personal relationship today, into a Eucharistic
relationship in which we are no longer mere passive
recipients of his grace, but coworkers of his redemption.
In living a life of thanksgiving, a Eucharistic life, we
attract many blessings for our own souls, our families,
our parish, and for souls in danger of being
Conversation with Christ: Lord, make me
aware of the many gifts you have given me
so that I may respond to them and give you
what you deserve: my heartfelt thanksgiving. May I be
more thankful and thus deepen my communion with you.
Resolution: I will make a visit to the
Eucharist today and consider the many gifts God has
given me. In adoration I will thank him with
all my being.