By Reagan Franklin
“Ten were cleansed, were they not?
Where are the other nine?
Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?”
Then he said to him, “Stand up and go;
your faith has saved you.” ~ Luke 17:11-19
Recently my husband and I hit the biking trails with a group of friends. Not long after we got started, the clouds rolled in, and it began to rain.
Our little group huddled under some trees, the sky rumbling above as we grumbled below. A recently ordained Deacon was among us, and while the rest of us were mumbling about the weather, he was sharing about all he’s been doing over the past three weeks. On top of several Masses each Sunday at two different parishes, he’d also had a wedding, baptism, funeral, and adoration. In our current state of mind, we thought only, and begrudgingly, about how busy he was. But he seemed to be shining brighter than the sun we were awaiting to reappear. He was quick to tell us that he didn’t have to do all these things; he was blessed to do all these things and, right there and then, bowed his head to give thanks to the Lord for his ability to serve.
Our hearts melted, and we felt the Holy Spirit coming upon us and filling us with an appreciation for Him, for our friend, and the moment. So what if it was raining? We were alive, healthy, and able to spend time in God’s beautiful outdoors with friends and loved ones. We all bowed our heads, letting the power of the Spirit, through our friend’s prayer, open our hearts. Soon, we were all riding through the rain, splashing through puddles, and as they say—laughing all the way!
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day. One of the optional Gospel readings is of Jesus healing the ten lepers, but only one returns to give thanks. Only one returns to give thanks. Have you ever found yourself in the position of the one—like my Deacon friend? Or the other nine—like the rest of us grumblers? Jesus has given Himself to us in the Eucharist, literally meaning thanksgiving. Let us recognize Him and the gifts He gives us in all moments—especially in the rain.
Lord, thank you for the gift of this day. Thank you for the gift of those we love and those who love us. Let us delight in you, the way you delight in us. Let us serve the least of your people and give thanks and praise to you always. Bless our tables tomorrow and all that is upon it and all who sit around it. In your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.
Call to Action
Find the people in your life who delight in the Lord’s gifts, who melt your heart to do the same. Spend more time with them and let the Lord, through them, transform your heart and mind.
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