“IT IS GOOD TO GIVE THANKS TO THE LORD”
📖2 Kgs 5:14-17; Psalm 981, 2-3ab, 3cd-4 (R.v.2); 2 Tim 2:8-13; Luke 17:11-19
🎤“IT IS GOOD TO GIVE THANKS TO THE LORD”
It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to make music to your name, O Most High, to proclaim your love in the morning and your truth in the watches of the night (Psalm 92).
Thanksgiving is a language that is cross-cultural. The Eucharist which we celebrate daily, in its etymology and significance, means thanksgiving. Everyone enjoys the tone of thanksgiving and abhors that of ingratitude. The readings we have in our Liturgy of today point out this basic reality.
In the First Reading, after Naaman was healed of his leprosy, he came back to give thanks to Elisha, the man of God (2Kgs 5:15) and in the Gospel, one of the ten lepers that Jesus healed came back to him to thank him (Luke 17:16). As a follow-up, Jesus immediately condemned the ingratitude of the other nine healed lepers who did not return to give thanks.
Leprosy was a very serious disease that rendered the sufferer an outcast from the community. Regardless of the person’s status in the society, as in the case of Naaman who was the commander in chief of the army; the society abhors relationship with such a person. That explains why they were overjoyed and came back to give thanks.
Yet, some of them did not deem it fit to come back.
Many of us behave in the same way as the ungrateful lepers. Many times, we fail to see the need of coming back to God to thank him for the favours we received from him.
Note that Jesus told the one that returned to give thanks, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well” (Luke 17:19).
Could it then be that the other ones were not really made well? Indeed, they might have been healed of the physical leprosy but the spiritual dimension still needed attention. In giving thanks, we dispose ourselves to receive more blessings.
Note also that all the various acts of thanksgiving that we encountered today were rightly channelled towards God. Elisha would not accept the gifts that Naaman brought, but rather led him to an appreciation and acknowledgement of the God of Israel as the only God there is in all the earth. In the same manner, Jesus redirected the thanksgiving of the Samaritan leper back to God.
Do we not sometimes take the honour that is due to God just for the mere fact that God assisted others through us? Like St. Paul in the Second Reading, we must bear in mind that whatever we do in this life is for the glory of God since we, ourselves, are made for God.
How often do we go back to God to thank him for his love and mercy upon us? We are always healed of the leprosy of sin by God and also showered of other different favours. Do we go back to him to give thanks? Many times that God has helped others through us, do we remember that we are but mere instruments in Gods hands of benevolence and therefore refer the glory back to him?
God is the source of all we have and are. It is our duty to make sure that his rightful place is recognised in our lives because it is in him that we have our being.
To God be the glory, both now and forever. Amen.
Have a gracious and happy Sunday. It is well with you.