Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving Homily

Nine out of ten times!  How often have we heard this expression or even used this expression ourselves?  You know nine out of ten times I would have done this or done that.  Nine out of ten times my team would have won the game.  Nine out of ten times the weather would be perfect.  Nine out of ten times. 

Sometimes we are called to be the nine.  Sometimes we are called to be the one.  And sometimes we are called to be the ten.  Confused?  Let's take a look.

In today's Gospel from St. Luke, specially chosen for Thanksgiving Day, we hear of the ten lepers, cured from their leprosy by Jesus.  After calling out to Jesus to cure them, Jesus simply tells them to go and show themselves to the priests.  No grand event to announce their healing, the lepers are simply cleansed along the way.  All ten are cured.  Can you imagine their excitement?  Can you imagine their joy?  What would be the first thing you would do realizing you have been healed?  Scripture does not tell us what actually happens to nine of these lepers.  We can only imagine that nine out of ten went on their way, perhaps to the priests, perhaps to family and friends to show themselves healed.  But one of the ten, just one, returned to give THANKS to the one who healed him.  The one who returned was the foreigner of the group, he was a Samaritan. Yet he returned and thanked Jesus for his healing.  And Jesus tells him your faith has saved you!

In this Gospel, we are reminded that we are called to be the one of the ten.  On this Thanksgiving Day we are thankful for all our blessings yet so many of our friends, family and neighbors perhaps forget to thank God.  From Him all our blessings flow.  From Him are our great joys and hope. From Him is His abiding presence during the challenges and trials in our lives.  In reality, when it comes to praising Him and giving thanks, we really all should be the ten.  But if others forget to thank Him then we should be the one; like that one thankful leper.

Most of us will gather today for a great feast.  The food will be bountiful.  In just a few minutes we will partake of a greater Feast; the Eucharist, a word which literally means Thanksgiving.  May the feast of the Eucharist continue to help us and sustain us on our journey.

And as we celebrate this great Thanksgiving Day, may we ponder prayerfully, do I give thanks to God nine out ot ten times, or perhaps less, or hopefully, more?  May we be the ten out of ten!!!

Give thanks to the Lord for He is good!!

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