“Where are the other nine?”

“I built this myself.” Remember the fight over that a few years ago? The hubris of human creativity. You see a lot posted these days about gratitude. On this Thanksgiving Day in the United States, let’s give some thought to what we give thanks for and to whom we give thanks. We can be guided by today’s reading from Luke 17: 11-19.

Jesus is traveling to Jerusalem through Samaria and Galilee. He enters a village, when ten persons with leprosy met him.

They stood at a distance from him and raised their voices, 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.”

Jesus healed ten but only one stayed behind to thank Him, and he not even a Jew but a Samaritan. This reading can be focused on the last line, “Your faith has saved you,” which indeed is important. But no reading is without its other important messages.

We should remember to recognize God’s gifts to us, including when he inspires us to be creative or successful. In fact, Jesus tells us that the most important commandment is to love God with all of our heart, all of our mind, and all of our soul. And Jesus tells us that the second most important commandment is to love our neighbor as ourselves. And wouldn’t that include remembering to thank them when they help us to be successful, even when we would love to take all the credit ourselves?

Most of us have something to be thankful for at Thanksgiving. Some families take turns at the Thanksgiving table to share what they are thankful for from the past year. Jesus might appreciate us recalling the story of the Samaritan who returned to Jesus to glorify him for healing him and remember the gifts that God has given us this year.

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving, and what part did God play in making it happen? What part did others play? Are you willing to share the glory with others?

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. God bless you with many things to be thankful for.



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