Healing Begins With Gratitude
James Tissot's The Healing of the Ten Lepers
A piece of commentary on todays Gospel (Luke 17:11~19) seemed to stand out for me. It said: that the consummation of the Samaritan leper's healing happens when he returns and falls at Jesus' feet in thanksgiving. I thought about this for awhile today. This leper's healing began when he thanked Jesus. Jesus confirms this by telling the leper that his faith has saved him.
We hear Our Lord say this to many He healed in the Gospels. It is almost as if He is telling us that He can cure whatever may ail us, but our faith in God is needed in order for true, deep and lasting healing to occur. Gratitude is a sure sign of that faith; it shows that we are aware of the Source of the healing and our knowledge that we are dependent on God for everything. Our faith and gratitude show God that we realize that all comes from Him and that we know that all is owed to Him.
Naaman in today's first reading (2Kings 5:14~17) knew this as well. His declaration of faith in the God of Israel was his thanksgiving. He even asked to take some of earth back with him so that he could always make a thanksgiving to God. We may not suffer from physical leprosy, but sin is a kind of spiritual leprosy. It separates us from God and each other. If we come to God in humble repentance, thanking Him for the gift of His healing, He will use our faith to lead us to deeper healing. He has given us the sacraments; they are channels of His grace. In the sacrament of the Eucharist we come in faith in the ultimate act of thanksgiving for God's ultimate gift of Himself through the sacrifice of His Son. Perhaps the fact that faith and gratitude seem to go hand in hand is most clear in the celebration of Mass. When we receive Jesus in Holy Communion, we say Amen meaning I believe or it is so. In turn Jesus gives us His healing at seeing this faith and it saves us.
Jesus never stops giving Himself to us; may we always come to Him in a spirit of gratitude for all His gifts.