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A Grateful Happy Heart

The Call to Servant Leadership
November 10, 2020
God in Our Midst
November 12, 2020
PITIK-BULAG: A Grateful Happy Heart
There is a quote that beautifully defines gratitude: It is the memory of the heart.
Today’s gospel is all about gratitude. Ten lepers come to Jesus for healing. Lepers are considered outcasts and unclean in the eyes of the Jews. They are totally detached from their own family and community for two reasons: First, leprosy is incurable and infectious. Second, lepers are considered unclean, and anyone who touches them is considered unfit to worship God on Sabbath. Thus, people have rejected them without mercy.
A MERCIFUL GOD. Yet, Jesus SEES THEM (Luke 17:14) after hearing their plea for mercy and healing. He sees their hearts. Pain flows from His heart. Their great desire is to be reunited again with their families and community. It’s not easy to be alone. And the only way to return to their family is to be healed from their leprosy. Out of great mercy, Jesus heals all of them from leprosy. The fact that the Lord sees them should be enough to trigger gratitude in their hearts. Outcasts are important in His eyes. They are special. Yet, the lepers fail to recognize it.
When the ten lepers are healed. Only one decides to return to Jesus to thank Him. Only one has a grateful heart. Or maybe the nine are just overwhelmed and excited to return to their communities and be reunited again with their families. They forget to thank Jesus. They forget the importance of reconciling themselves first to God before anything else.
Four things that the nine lepers need to remember:
1. They are healed from their miseries.
2. Jesus deserves recognition.
3. They are expected to thank God.
4. Everything is a pure blessing.
Somehow the Lord expressed his disappointment to the nine, “Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they?” (Luke 17:17).
How much do we take God’s blessings for granted? Or worse still, sees all these blessings as part of our entitlement? In our mind we say, “We deserve these blessings, why should we thank God for them?” Or sometimes, we see things in our hands as fruits of our labor. God has nothing to do about it.
When one of the ten lepers returned to thank Jesus, he recognizes the importance of reconciling himself first to God. The Lord may have healed them from their physical illnesses, but total healing involves the healing of souls too. And when one is grateful to God or to anyone he is indebted, that person is considered spiritually healed too. Gratitude is a recognition that we are nothing, that everything is a blessing given by God, and we don’t deserve them.
When the ten lepers immediately followed the instruction of Jesus to go to the priest for a check-up, their FAITH has made them well. But when one of them returned to Jesus to express his gratitude, it was his GRATITUDE that HEALED HIS SOUL.
A GRATEFUL PERSON is a happy person. He has a keen eye to see God in all things. He is humble enough to accept that everything is a grace, freely given by a generous God. He is simply overwhelmed every morning with simple but pure blessings like good health, like having a good coffee in the morning, like hearing the chirping of the birds, receiving a hug from his loved ones, or simply breathing the fresh morning air.
Each time we express our gratitude to the Lord or even to our loved ones, we receive healing of our souls. Inner joy springs naturally when someone says, “Thank You.” Gratitude makes us humble, but it makes us happy.
Indeed, gratitude is the memory of the heart.
– Fr. Willy M. Samson, SJ
November 11, 2020 – Wednesday
Gospel Reading: Luke 17: 11-19

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