Today, as we gather to celebrate Thanksgiving, our hearts and minds are filled with gratitude. But have we ever considered how often we actually express this gratitude, especially towards God? The Gospel today, like a revealing poll, sheds light on this very question.
In the Gospel of Luke, we read a striking story of ten lepers who were healed by Jesus. These ten men, ostracized and suffering, cried out to Jesus for mercy, and He heard their plea. Miraculously, they were healed, their skin cleansed, their lives restored. Yet, out of these ten, only one returned to give thanks to Jesus.
This ratio – one out of ten – may seem discouraging. It reflects, perhaps, a human tendency to take blessings for granted. Just like these lepers, we often call upon God in times of need, but how often do we return to Him with the same fervor to say 'thank you'? This Gospel story is a powerful reminder, especially on Thanksgiving, to acknowledge the countless gifts God bestows upon us.
In our busy lives, it's easy to overlook the everyday miracles – the love of family, the beauty of nature, the grace of health, and even the gift of life itself. We, like the nine lepers, can become so caught up in our blessings that we forget the One who blessed us.
But the one leper who returned to Jesus did something remarkable. He recognized that his healing was not just a change in physical condition, but a sign of God's love and mercy. He saw beyond the gift and looked to the Giver. His gratitude led him back to Jesus, where he found not just physical healing, but spiritual wholeness.
This Thanksgiving, let us strive to be like that one leper. Let us acknowledge the blessings we receive daily and turn our hearts in thanksgiving to God. Our gratitude should not just be a fleeting thought or a quick prayer, but a profound recognition of God's constant presence and generosity in our lives.
As we gather with our families, let us remember to thank God for the gift of each other. In our parishes and communities, let us express gratitude for the fellowship and support we find. And in our personal moments of prayer, let us sincerely thank God for His endless love and mercy.
In essence, let's not allow the 'polls' of our daily lives to reflect that we are among the nine who forgot to return. Instead, let us be the one who comes back to Jesus with a heart full of gratitude, acknowledging His goodness in every aspect of our lives.
May this Thanksgiving open our hearts to a deeper sense of gratitude, and may our thankful hearts draw us ever closer to the source of all goodness, our Lord Jesus Christ.