Today’s Gospel is the well-known story of the ten persons with leprosy that were healed by Jesus. Knowing the reputation of Jesus for compassion, they took the risk and cried out for mercy. Jesus sent them to show themselves to the priests (as was required by their law); on the way there they were healed. Only one of them, a Samaritan, returned to thank Jesus for this gift.
Though Thanksgiving is still over a month away, giving thanks is always in season. Actually every day should be a day for giving thanks. When you get right down to it, everything we have and everything we are is a gift, even the fact that we exist. Several years ago I read a book entitled Gratitude, the Heart of Prayer. It is a great insight: prayer comes quite naturally from a grateful heart. A medieval Dominican mystic, Meister Eckhart, once said, “If the only prayer you ever say is ‘thank you’, it will be enough.” Even the word Eucharist means thanksgiving, and that is what we do when we gather to celebrate the Mass.
What would you think of preparing for our Thanksgiving celebrations by spending some time each day consciously and deliberately calling to mind the blessings we have been given in the coming weeks? And take the opportunity to thank the people in your life for the gift that they are to you. And let me say, thank you for your encouragement, support, generosity, and faith. May God give us grateful hearts.