On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, they called out, saying, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" When he saw them, he said to them, "Go and show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were made clean. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. He prostrated himself at Jesus´ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus asked, "Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" Then he said to him, "Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well." (Luke 17: 11-19)
Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, Eternal Shepherd, you feed my soul with your body and blood. You give me life in the Eucharist. Grant me the grace to live my life in imitation of you.
Petition: Lord Jesus, I treasure the moments when I receive your body and blood. Grant me the grace to be able to come to Mass every day so I can receive life and grace from you.
1. Crazy for Christ The people in the village heard that Jesus would be visiting. Imagine their curiosity about this Jesus Christ. As Jesus entered the town, the villagers left what they were doing and walked over to see him. Immediately ten lepers approached Jesus from a distance and petitioned him for his mercy and healing. What were the other villagers thinking? Perhaps they turned to each other and said, “These lepers are nuts! They’re calling this man ‘Master’ and acting as if they truly believe he can perform miracles!” Although the lepers might have seemed crazy to the crowd around them, they were reaching out in faith to the Holy One who could heal them. Their faith was rewarded. What vanity keeps us from seeking Christ for our own healing? We need to be like the lepers and approach Jesus with great faith and respect. “Master, have mercy on us!”
2. A Mighty Oak All ten lepers followed Jesus’ instructions, and all ten were cured as they went. However, only one leper returned. He came back praising God, prostrating himself in front of Christ in thanksgiving. The villagers must have been astonished at the return of this man. He had walked away a leper, yet he returned healed of all leprosy. The faith of this man was real. He knew who had healed him, and his gratitude displayed the depth of his faith. There is a humorous tagline that says, “Today´s mighty oak is just yesterday’s nut that held its ground.” One small nut can grow into a strong and enduring tree. This leper called out to Christ and held his ground. His reward was the renewal of his soul and an intimate experience of the mercy and love of God.
3. Running the Good Race Although all ten lepers were healed, faith didn’t take root to the same extent in them all: only one returned to prostrate himself at Jesus’ feet. Is the “small acorn” of our faith still resting on hard ground? We need to make sure that our faith is carefully sown in the rich, deep soil of prayer and the Eucharist to ensure that it endures to the end. “I have fought the good fight to the end; I have run the race to the finish; I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).
Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, Eternal Shepherd, every time I petition you in prayer, you reach out and assist me. Thank you for your merciful love. Continue to strengthen and nourish my soul each time I receive your holy Body and Blood. Let the miracle of the Eucharist deepen the roots of my faith so that I will be a strong and enduring apostle.
Resolution: I will attend daily Mass and invite a friend to go with me.
Lord, so often times, as any other day
When we sit down to our meal and pray
We hurry along and make fast the blessing
Thanks, amen. Now please pass the dressing
We're slaves to the ol'factory overload
We must rush our prayer before the food gets cold
But Lord, I'd like to take a few more seconds
To really give thanks to what I'm thankful for:
APPRECIATION OF EACH OTHER: We thank you, Father, for the gift of Jesus your Son who came to our earth and lived in a simple home. We have a greater appreciation of the value and dignity of the human family because he loved and was loved within its shelter. Bless us this day; may we grow in love for each other in our family and so give thanks to you who are the maker of all human families and our abiding peace.
GRATITUDE: Thank you, Father, for having created us and given us to each other in the human family. Thank you for being with us in all our joys and sorrows, for your comfort in our sadness, your companionship in our loneliness. Thank you for yesterday, today, tomorrow and for the whole of our lives. Thank you for friends, for health and for grace. May we live this and every day conscious of all that has been given to us.
A THANKSGIVING TABLE PRAYER
O Gracious God, we give you thanks for your overflowing generosity to us. Thank you for the blessings of the food we eat and especially for this feast today. Thank you for our home and family and friends, especially for the presence of those gathered here. Thank you for our health, our work and our play. Please send help to those who are hungry, alone, sick and suffering war and violence. Open our hearts to your love. We ask your blessing through Christ your son. Amen.