28th Sunday in Ordinary Time
October 9, 2016
A Retreat to Give Him Thanks
Each person should have a goal in life. Without one, there is no success. Once a goal is attained, a thanksgiving offering should follow. The ten lepers in today’s Gospel proclamation shows us this: regardless of their faith or status in life or where they lived, their main and common goal was to receive healing.
In the Old Testament, leprosy was a disease regarded as an awful punishment from the Lord (2 Kings 5: 7; 2 Chron. 26: 20). It was also considered an outward and visible sign of innermost spiritual corruption. Most of those who were affected by the disease were isolated or separated from their families and loved ones. The ten lepers experienced the same fate of being lonely, abandoned, insulted and persecuted. But they also knew the principles of healing through the forgiveness of their sins. In Luke 17: 13 when Jesus heard their shouts for "mercy" they received their healing, but were ordered to see the priests who would proclaim whether they are clean or unclean (Lev. 13) and confirm their healing. However one of them, a Samaritan, realizing that he was instantly healed, turned back, glorified God and worshiped and thanked Jesus. Hence, in his attitude of thankfulness it was Jesus the Great High Priest who proclaimed him as clean saying, “Your faith has made you whole.”
In the Old Testament God’s people expressed their thankfulness through offering their first produce, and it pleased the Lord. God was pleased with Abel when he offered the firstlings of his flock (Gen. 4:4) and the Lord had regard on Abel's offering; when Abraham was tested by God to offer Isaac, He was pleased by the faith of Abraham (Gen. 22); Isaac built an altar when the Lord appeared to him at Beersheba (Gen.26:25); Jacob poured oil on the stone that had been his pillow during his dream of the ladder to Heaven, and named it Bethel (Gen. 28:18). There are many other examples.
In this present time, as believers we are to please our Lord with our prayers, as we bring our sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving unto Him. The celebration of the Eucharist serves as the place of Great Thanksgiving, because it is where the body of Christ is shared for all and through His blood we are being purified from all our sins. In the midst of our busy daily endeavors in life, moving forward to accomplish His will, we should always turn back to thank Him.