“He fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him.”

Today’s gospel reading (Lk 17:11-19) repeats one proclaimed recently because this is Thanksgiving.  Jesus encounters ten lepers begging for pity.  He tells them to show themselves to the priests and they are cured on the way.  Only a Samaritan from the group returns to thank Jesus.  Jesus wonders where the others are and then dismisses this man telling him that he has been saved because of his faith.  Like this healed man we should turn (or return if we’ve been away for awhile) to Jesus, falling on our knees before Him to thank Him for all He has given us and all He has done for us.  We can do this in a special way before the tabernacle or at an adoration table where Christ is really present in a mode par excellence.  But our grateful response should not be confined to only those occasions.  We do well to make it a habit to thank God throughout the day — and not only for things that go our way.  Gratitude for trials, struggles, and pain is inconceivable to the world and a challenge for us but, when recognized as an opportunity to grow in faith (remember the father of the possessed boy: “I do believe, help my unbelief!” — Mk 9:24) and share in the redemptive suffering of Christ (“offer it up” was and remains good advice), it will increasingly flow naturally and freely from us. Jesus understands, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin” (Heb 4:15).

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