REFLECTION FOR TODAY,
November 11, 2020
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
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. Luke 17:15-16
Gratitude is the habit of seeing and acknowledging the source of good in our lives. By being grateful, we acknowledge the truth that it is the kindness and generous love of God which saves us and blesses us – not any righteous deeds we may have done. Our Bible reference today is from the healing of the 10 lepers and only one, a Samaritan, returns to give thanks
We may not feel inclined to think of ourselves as lepers. It’s not an appealing image. But that’s the plain meaning of these ten. The ten lepers represent us. In fact, we’re much worse off than lepers. Leprosy ends with earthly death. But the effects of sin—alienation and estrangement from God and neighbor—are unending, ever-lasting, without end if we die in mortal sin. Without a Redeemer to save us from sin, our suffering will not end with earthly death, but only begin in earnest.
Jesus saves the ten from leprosy with little more than a few words, such is His divine power. But Jesus saves all of mankind from the far greater penalty of eternal death. How grateful are we for all that Jesus has done for us? Only one a Samaria return to give thanks.
Note that there are two things this Samaritan did once he was healed. First, he “returned, glorifying God in a loud voice.” This is a significant description of what happened. He did not just return to say thank you, rather, his gratitude was expressed in a very passionate way. Try to imagine this leper shouting and praising God out of a sincere and deep gratitude.
Second, this man “fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked Him.” Again, this is no small act on the part of this Samaritan. The act of falling at Jesus’ feet is another sign of his intense gratitude. It’s not only that he was excited, he was also deeply humbled by this healing.
This is seen in the act of humbly falling down at the feet of Jesus. It shows that this leper humbly recognized his unworthiness before God for this act of healing. It’s a beautiful gesture which acknowledges that gratitude is not enough. Instead, profound gratitude is necessary. Profound and humble gratitude must always be our response to the goodness of God.
Reflect, today, upon your approach to the goodness of God. Of the ten who were healed, only this one leper manifested the right attitude. The others may have been grateful, but not to the extent that they should have been. How about you? How deep is your gratitude toward God? Are you fully aware of all that God does for you every day? If not, seek to imitate this leper and you will discover the same joy that he discovered.
Lord, I pray that I may daily turn to You in deep and total gratitude. May I see all that You do for me every day and may I respond with wholehearted thanksgiving. Jesus, I trust in You.