1. 2Kings 5: 14-17
2. 2Tim2: 8-13
Gospel: Luke 17: 11-19

                   " Gratitude- the spontaneous virtue"

It once happened in one of the evangelical churches when a visiting preacher delivered a 30-minute sermon on gratitude, at the end of his sermon, he said: And remember, however small the gift is, always be grateful to the Lord."
later on it came a time for  the offering, thus an usher used the preacher's hat to take up the collection. When the hat came back to him, the preacher shook it carefully however, he heard no sound. Then he turned it upside down but nothing came out. It was empty!
Seeing this, every eye in the congregation watched to see if the preacher would practice what he had just preached. Whereupon, the preacher raised his hands to heaven, still holding the empty hat and said: " I thank you, Lord I got back my hat!"

Dear brothers and sisters, the gospel and the other readings teach us a lesson about gratitude or giving thanks. Gratitude is the natural virtue. It is the most exquisite form of courtesy. You can't extract gratitude as you would extract a tooth. Hence it must be as spontaneous as our heartbeat. From the gospel we have heard that Jesus healed ten lepers, nine being Jewish, and tenth being a Samaritan. Here it is very interesting to note that while the Jewish people normally could not mingle with the  Samaritans, misery so loves company that this group of lepers consisted both Jews and a Samaritan. As we heard out of those ten, the one who was a foreigner was the only one who returned and thanked Jesus. Only ten percent of those who were healed showed gratitude. How offended the Lord Jesus must have been!

As the rule, when a Jewish leper was healed, he had to go to the local priest to confirm that he was now clean and permitted to mix among the general public. For the Samaritan, more was demanded from him/her. Most likely, he/she has to go to his/her own priest near Mount Gerizim. This demand of Jesus required a greater act of obedience because of the travelling involved. While the demand was greater on the part of the Samaritan, he was the only one to show gratitude for the gift of healing that he received.

A certain priest in his homily, asked the faithful to take a glance at the crucifix, what  letter of the alphabet do you see in the form of the cross? they all responded, " Letter T." The priest furthermore went on to ask, " what letter of the alphabet do you see in the form of the body of Christ?" they all responded, " we see letter Y" then the priest went on saying, " if we combine both letters what can we get here?"  they responded, " we get TY" which means, " Thank You" which is the shortest and the best prayer for all times. Every time we look at the crucifix , we have to always say " Thank You."

We are all invited to be grateful for everything. First let us be grateful to our parents and all those who have made us to be who we are today, since there was a moment in our lives when we were or we are still dependent on them for everything, and yet when we manage to stand on our own feet we tend to neglect them especially in their old age. The day often comes also when an aged parent becomes a nuisance fellow and some of us are unwilling to repay the debt we owe our parents and all those who had ensured to make us who we are today. People who fail to love their parents in their old age will suffer the same fate from their children. The book of Ecclesiasticus too warns us: " The man who deserts his father is no better than a blasphemer and whoever angers his mother is accursed of the Lord," ( Ecc3:16).

Second, let us be grateful to our fellow human beings. It is because we owed them too in some great deal. There are some times that a friend or anybody does something for us that is impossible to repay but the tragedy we often do not even try to repay it.
Third, we are always invited to be grateful to God. This is because we always to pray to Him and grants to us what fits us, either positive or negative response. We give thanks to God for He created us in His image and likeness and not in the image of a cow or buffalo;  He gives a provisions to our daily need;  He gave to us His only Son; for the Eucharist and Penance, and other Sacraments; for the place in which we dwell; the love that unites us, the wealth, the work and other creatures; for our happy and even troublesome days and many more. Thus there is a sense in which no gift is ours until we have thanked the giver, our God. And our thanksgiving has to be sincere.

Most of the times we forget to thank God even by saying the grace before meals. So the best thanks we can give him is to try to deserve His goodness and His mercy a little better. Today's readings provide us with answers responding to why some of our prayers never have responses from God. They teach us that we are healed when we show gratitude to God for the abundance of blessings that He has bestowed upon us from the moment that we were created. 

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Chapisha Maoni