[quote style=”boxed” ](Sirach 50:22-24,1Corinthians 1:3-9 and Luke 17:11-19)[/quote]
Thanksgiving Day is an important public and religious holiday celebrated each year on the fourth Thursday of November. History records for us that the first Thanksgiving was celebrated by the early settlers in the 1600s in a far-a-way land from religious, political, and social persecution, known as the New World.
Modern day settlers are also seeking a new life in a land far away from persecution and wanton slaughter, so they too may provide for their family in a safe and caring environment.
The word “thanks” is used, sometimes not often enough, without much thought or reflection. The religious significance of the holiday often pales next to a list of holiday preparations.
We need to have about us a “mindfulness” of what Thanksgiving really means. This brings to mind the question: To whom and for what are we thankful?
The Hebrew word “hodah” is generally translated as “giving thanks.” In Scripture, to give thanks means acknowledging that God is, and has always been, an integral part of our life. The gospel of Luke records for us the healing of 10 persons afflicted with skin malady (in ancient times it was understood as leprosy). They stood at a distance and called out: Jesus, Master! Have pity (compassion) on us! When Jesus saw them, He said: Go and show yourselves to the priests. While on their way, they were cleansed. One of them realizing what had just happened returned glorifying God and fell at Jesus’ feet thanking Him. Jesus told him to go on his way, His faith had saved him.
Today’s gospel has an obvious lesson for us — namely, the importance of showing gratitude. Gratitude is an act of appreciation recognizing that something good has happened in our life, it is a gift of Grace.
How often do we express our gratitude? The story of the ‘Ten Lepers’ reveals to us the unconditional, universal love of God and reminds us that one person’s grateful response to that love is also universal.
In other words, salvation unfolds in everyone’s life regardless of their ethnic or religious background. The relationship these men had with God was different from everyone else and their relationship was genuine.
Once again, we stand in awe before the majesty of God’s omnipotent love. To whom and for what are we grateful?