Wednesday, November 11, 2015 ~ Thirty-Second Week in Ordinary Time
Saint Martin of Tours, Bishop
~ Veterans Day ~
Holy Gospel: Luke 17:11-19 As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem, he traveled through Samaria and Galilee. As he was entering a village, ten lepers met him. They stood at a distance from him and raised their voice, saying, “Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!” And when he saw them, he said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” As they were going they were cleansed. And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. He was a Samaritan. Jesus said in reply, “Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?” Then he said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.”
Meditation: So what is the significance of these ten lepers asking for mercy? They know they are in need of healing, not just physical, but spiritual healing as well. They approach Jesus with contrition and faith because they believe that he can release the burden of guilt and suffering and make restoration of body and soul possible. Their request for mercy is both a plea for pardon and release from suffering. Jesus gives mercy to all who ask with faith and contrition. Why did only one leper out of ten return to show gratitude? “Gratefulness,” another word which expresses gratitude of heart and a thankful disposition, is related to “grace” – which means “the release of loveliness.” “Gratitude” is the homage of the heart which responds with graciousness in expressing an act of thanksgiving. The Samaritan approached Jesus reverently and gave praise and thanksgiving to God.
Prayer: O God, who are glorified in the Bishop Saint Martin both by his life and death, make new, we pray, the wonders of your grace in our hearts, that neither death nor life may separate us from your love. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Prayer for Veterans: O God, by whose mercy the faithful departed find rest, look kindly on our veterans, both living and deceased, who proudly served their country, and especially those who paid the ultimate price. Grant that through the passion, death, and resurrection of your Son they may share in the joy of your heavenly kingdom and rejoice in you with your saints forever. We pray this through Christ our Lord.
Contemplation: If we ourselves do not recognize and appreciate the mercy and help shown to us we will be ungrateful and unkind towards others. Ingratitude is forgetfulness or a poor return for kindness received. Ingratitude easily leads to lack of charity and intolerance towards others, as well as to other vices, such as complaining, grumbling, discontentment, pride, and presumption. How often have we been ungrateful to our parents, pastors, teachers, and neighbors? When was the last time you expressed thanks and gratitude to God for his abundant help and mercy towards you? Conversely, are you gracious, kind, and merciful towards your neighbor in their time of need and support?