We are very familiar with today’s Gospel account of the healing of the 10 lepers. We think, how sad that only one returned to give thanks to Jesus for healing him of a disease that separated him from his family, his social community, and being able to worship in the temple.
I would guess that most of us have had an experience similar to the one of Jesus. We did something for another person and did not receive a simple “thank you” in return. Our thoughts turned to thinking about how ungrateful the person was.
Maybe we need to look at this in another way. Maybe God is asking us to look at ourselves rather than at the person who forgot to say “thank you.”
One day David gave money to a poor man he met on the street. As he walked away he began to glow with self satisfaction. But then a shadow passed over him. He remembered that the person he helped did not thank him. Later he related the incident to his rabbi. The rabbi listened patiently, then said, “How did you feel when you gave the poor man some money?”
“I felt pleased and proud of myself,” David replied.
“Was not that sufficient reward for you?” the rabbi asked.
“I still think he might have thanked me for my generosity,” David persisted.
“Surely you don’t want to be thanked for behaving as a religious man should? By the way, did you thank God?”
“Thank God? For what?” asked David in surprise to the rabbi’s question.
“For giving you an opportunity of being an instrument of his love towards a fellow human being,” came the reply.
So often we forget that it is God who gifts us with all that we have, and in return he expects us to share what we have with those who have not. Our gifts of time, talent, and treasure are not ours, but gifts from God, not to be hoarded, but to be shared.
We must always remember that on the day we stand before the Judgment Seat we will not only be asked to give an accounting of our life, but of our stewardship of time, talent, and treasure. If you had to do this today, would you be pleased with your response?
– Fr. Dennis, October 13, 2019