“Stand up and go, your faith has saved you!” We hear the story of ten lepers cured, nine of whom failed to return to give thanks. Why did they not return? We don’t know. Perhaps they were angry they were sick in the first place. Maybe they weren’t sure they were healed permanently. Maybe they were coming but had not made it back yet. It is easy to get wrapped up in wondering about the nine when our focus should be on the one. When we focus on the nine, we fall into the very trap they fell into – failure to have gratitude for the blessings which are bestowed upon us; recognizing where all those blessings come from.
As Vincentians, we are often times confronted with a neighbor who does not show gratitude for the help they have received. We don’t know why they do not show the gratitude. There may be any number of reasons or hurts they are dealing with. We need to pray for them. We need to be thankful and rejoice for and with those who do show gratitude. Most of all, we need to be thankful for the blessings God has bestowed upon us, the grace he gives us to share those blessings and the healing he does in our lives. Each time we come to receive the sacraments of Penance and Eucharist, we are cleaned, healed and nourished by our Lord. As we minister to others, we should do so with faith that God will lead us in the right decisions. We must recognize that the good we do is a gift from God to us. How often do we remember to give thanks for these opportunities to be his healing hands to others who in turn heal our sores as well? Do I show gratitude for the many blessings in my life? Do I focus more on those who do not say thanks or those who do?
Lord Jesus, increase my awareness of your loving actions in our lives which allow me to minister to others. Increase my willingness to submit to your guidance in the actions I take in ministry. Let me seek that guidance through prayer and discernment. Let me call out to you in faith as the lepers did. Let me move forward in faith. And let me return to you in thanksgiving for the directions you lead me in. We pray all of this in your name. Amen