the Temple priests. Why did Jesus do this?
Well, in a nutshell he wanted them to exercise their faith. Two things make this episode unusual. Firstly, only one of the ten men returned to thank Jesus for the healing he received "on the way." Since Jesus made a pointed comment about this, it highlights the direct connection between gratitude and faith. One precious gift, faith, should lead us to the proper response, gratitude. An obvious message is that every Christian
should be so grateful for the gift of faith-that leads to salvation that they will praise God daily for suc h an incredible gift. We believe in God's promise of salvation, and we recognise that he died to save us. When we stumble and fall through personal sin, the Sacrament of Reconciliation once again restores us to spiritual wholeness. Grace upon grace, gift upon gift! Praise and thanksgiving for God's tender mercies should build up in us throughout the day, every day!
The second unusual detail in this gospel passage is that it was not the nine Jewish men, but only the one Samaritan man who demonstrated his gratefulness for being cured. He returned, throwing himself at the feet of Jesus in thankfulness. Jesus had every right to be sad, seeing that only one person knew to return and thank him for the healing, especially since the other nine men were fellow Judeans.
Jesus didn’t "need" their thanks; he had experienced rejection before, but he knew that the impoliteness of the nine men gave a glimpse into the condition of their hearts and minds. They may have been cured of leprosy of the body, but they now had spiritual leprosy of the mind, a condition of ingratitude and lack of appreciation.
There are lessons we can learn today from this scripture passage. For one thing, Christians should not expect reward with praise and thanks for doing what he or she is sent to do. After all, the Master was rejected and forgotten; that will be His disciples' destiny as well. But just as importantly, we need to do a self-examination of our own attitude about gratitude towards God. Hopefully we all pray in gratitude at mealtime. But what about the rest of the day? Are we aware of the priceless gifts that have been showered upon us? Faith, Hope, Love, the awesome Incarnation, the sacrificial death of Jesus for our salvation, our very life and breath, our family, and many, many more. Are you taking these for granted? If not, what is your proof of this?
KNOW YOUR CATECHISM!
Article CCC 1360 reminds us that “The Eucharist is a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the Father, by which we express our gratitude to God for all his benefits, for all he has accomplished through creation, redemption, and sanctification. Eucharist means first of all “thanksgiving.” See also article CCC 1083
“CCC” stands for Catechism of the Catholic Church: and an online version can be found at: http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/ccc_toc2.htm.