REFLECTION FOR TODAY,
November 26, 2020
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
“Jesus said I reply “Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?” Luke 17:17-18
Happy Thanksgiving! This year’s Thanksgiving presents us with the unique and perfect opportunity to look at this particular time in history. It has been an unusual year with the Corona virus and the number of people who have died and still battling with this virus in the hospital.
Irrespective of what has happened around us this year, it time for us to express our gratitude and thanks to God for the gift of life, the blessing of family and our life of faith. We are called to be eternally and deeply grateful to God today and this year more than ever. How grateful are we to God?
We may all be struggling in various ways with gratitude. But is fair to say that we will never be grateful enough for all God has done for us until we reach perfection in Heaven. But, for now, it’s important to look at gratitude and to try to let it increase in our souls.
What is far more challenging is to look beyond the crosses and burdens we face each day to see the abundance of grace and mercy given to us by our Lord. Unless we see that mercy and grace, we will struggle greatly with authentic gratitude. Gratitude they say opens the doors for more blessings.
Our gospel reference is from Jesus response to the one leper who had come to express his gratitude to Jesus. Ten lepers were healed only one returned to thank God. Imagine the sight of those ten lepers standing at a distance, pleading with Jesus to have pity on them! Imagine, then, after he cleansed all ten, only one returning to give thanks!
As Christians how grateful are we to God for all He has done for us? Often times we are quick to remember our down moments in life that we forget the many blessings God has poured on us. The one leper did not only return glorifying God, but he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. This wasn’t simply a handshake or a nod of thanks, but with his entire being he thanked Jesus.
The mercy of God falls upon everyone, whether they appear to deserve it or not, for it is not by our own merit that we are healed or alive today, but by the power of God’s love which overshadows us each time we are touched by him.
Reflect on this Thanksgiving if you are like one of the nine who failed in gratitude? If so, you must be struggling with seeing all the true and abundant blessings God has bestowed on you. See this Thanksgiving, as a time for us to express our heartfelt gratitude to God for the many favor, blessings and graces he has bestowed on us as a nation, church and individual. Let us try not to be among the nine who were lacking in gratitude but the one who return to give thanks.
Lord, please do fill my heart with an abundance of gratitude. Help me to return, turning my eyes to Your infinite grace and mercy. Help me to see beyond the straggles of life and the burden that get me down. In place of these, help me to become increasingly aware of all You have done for me and all You continue to do. Jesus, I trust in You.