Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
October 13, 2019 – Year C
Readings: 2 Kgs 5:14-17 / Ps 98 / 2 Tm 2:8-13 / Lk 17:11-19
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor
Last Sunday, a few minutes before I celebrated the 8:00 Mass here, I greeted a parishioner from our sister parish on the lake on his way in. Knowing that he had to drive almost an hour to get here, I said “I am so happy to see you!” He replied, “At my age, Father, being seen is always better than being viewed. Thanks be to God.”
Just the mere fact that we can see each other is reason enough to express our gratitude to our Creator and our God. But we all know that the “attitude of gratitude” is not a common trait even among Christians. This has been the case since the time of Christ.
St. Luke the Evangelist relates to us, in the gospel we just heard, the story of ten lepers who were healed by the Lord. Being a leper during the time of Jesus was much more difficult than it is today. Being a leper then was as good as being dead. The leper was not allowed to live in his own house where he would have the support of his family, go to the temple to worship, or even hang out with his friends. So being cured of this illness was almost like being raised from the dead! But surprisingly, most of the ten did not express their gratitude; only the Samaritan returned to give thanks. The Lord said, “Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?”
If we experience ingratitude from people we have helped in the past, don’t worry. We are in good company. It is the same experience as the Lord Jesus himself. But this is sad because this means that many people fail to see the benefits of being grateful.
Harvard Medical School published an article entitled: Giving Thanks Can Make You Happier. It says that in positive psychology research, gratitude is associated with greater happiness. It even helps people improve their health.
Sons and daughters of God, being grateful should be part of who we are. Later in the Mass during the Eucharistic prayer when the celebrant says, “Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.” Our response will be, “It is right and just.”
Having an attitude of gratitude will not only make us healthier and happier as evidenced by the Harvard Medical School research, but more importantly, it will make our relationships with our God and with our neighbor stronger.